Honorary Presidents

The Distinguished Gentlemen
Who Have Served as Honorary Presidents of the Veteran Wireless Operators Association

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The VWOA has been honored to have had several of the most distinguished statesmen and leaders in the history of radio communications, accept the office of Honorary President. Until his death on Friday, May 29th, 1998,  Senator Barry Goldwater held the office. The individuals who have whole-heartedly supported the work of the VWOA and served as Honorary President are:

President Herbert Hoover, 1929-1937

Senatore Guglielmo Marconi, 1937-1938

Dr. Lee DeForest, 1939-1961

General David Sarnoff, 1961-1971

Senator Barry M. Goldwater 1971-1998

President Gerald R. Ford 1998-2006

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President Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States earned the appellation "The Humanitarian President". Trained as an engineer, he was a life-long supporter of technology and innovation.  Despite his name being connected with the Great Depression, his dedication and tremendous organizational skills were instrumental in the rebuilding of Europe following World War II,

Guglielmo Marconi

Guglielmo Marconi--the "Father of Radio". He transformed radio from a laboratory curiosity into a practical communications medium. His unique combination of hands-on technical skills combined with a visionary business sense which allowed him to not only make technological progress, but to sell the value of radio to commercial and government entities necessary to turn the laboratory curiosity into the the maritime lifesaver it was eventually to become.

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Dr. Lee DeForest--inventor of the "Audion" vacuum tube. The Audion, by its ability to amplify signals and to oscillate (generate signals), provided the crucial enabling technology for the rapid development of radio. 

General David Sarnoff

David Sarnoff--radio operator, turned entrepreneur, headed the Radio Corporation of America. No man contributed as much to the development of commercial broadcasting. He was an ardent supporter of invention and research and development both in peacetime and during World War II. He was an especially loyal and committed officer of the VWOA. The radio equipment operated by the VWOA aboard the lightship AMBROSE was donated by General Sarnoff.

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Senator Barry M. Goldwater, K7UGA

Barry Goldwater, held the office of  Honorary President of the VWOA for nearly 27 years -- longer than anybody else.  He led a distinguished career as a statesman. In the turbulent world of politics, he earned the distinction of being called, "The most congenial man in the Senate."  An editorial in the May 30, 1998 issue of The New York Times entitled "The Honorable Senator From Arizona"   included the following comment: "Part of the reason for such fraternal good will was that Mr. Goldwater saw politics as a debate over ideas, not a blood sport for power.  The other reason was that all sides knew he was one of those rare creatures on Capital Hill who talked straight."  Upon his retirement, the United States Senate named the Barry Goldwater Scholarship in his honor. A licensed radio amateur since boyhood, he was a relentless supporter of amateur radio and American technology leadership. A three-star general in the United States Air Force, he  also devoted countless hours to the Military Affiliated Radio System.  For a special tribute to Barry, turn to the Barry Goldwater page.

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Two former honorary presidents of the Veteran Wireless Operators Association are shown here: David Sarnoff and Guglielmo Marconi.

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