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Ham Radio Publications Pioneer, Visionary, Iconoclast Wayne Green, W2NSD, SK

09/15/2013

Wayne S. Green II, W2NSD (“Never Say Die”), of Hancock, New Hampshire, died September 13. He was 91. A well-known and often outspoken figure during what some consider Amateur Radio’s golden years in the 1950s and 1960s, Green helmed CQ Magazine for 5 years before becoming the self-proclaimed “El Supremo and Founder” in 1960 of 73 magazine, which he published until 2003.

“The purpose of [73] at that time was to get more hams building equipment,” Green recounted in a radio interview several years ago. A hallmark of 73 was Green’s iconic, rambling, and wide-ranging “Never Say Die” editorials, in which he rarely missed an opportunity to tweak the ARRL and his magazine competitors for their perceived shortcomings. In 2012 Green contributed back issues of 73 to Internet Archive.

“Wayne will be remembered in many different ways by many different people, but he will be long remembered,” said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. “He maintained his membership in the ARRL despite being a persistent critic. In the early days of packet radio he gave me some good advice as to how the ARRL should promote the new technology: ‘Talk about it as if everybody’s doing it, and eventually they will be.’”

Indeed, Green often was ahead of the curve in promoting such technologies as single-sideband phone, solid-state, FM, and the marriage of computers and ham radio, and he went on to found and publish Byte and other computer-oriented publications. “I live mostly in the future,” Green was quoted as saying.

Former ARRL Contributing Editor Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, once wrote in his “Surfin’” web column, “We take computers and the Internet for granted today. I first became interested in computers when Wayne Green, W2NSD, started writing about them in 73 magazine in the 1970s. Back then, you had to build your own from scratch or from kits.”

Green maintained a larger-than-life presence, even in the years after he faded from the Amateur Radio spotlight, and he never did really retire. “Hey old buddy, I will miss you,” radio talk show host Art Bell, W6OBB, posted to Wayne Green’s blog. “NEVER SAY DIE is a phrase that will be with me till it’s my time.” Green was an occasional guest on Bell’s “Coast to Coast AM” overnight talk program. There hardly was an issue that Green would not confront, and he expounded a variety of unconventional science, health, and medical theories — from cold fusion and the moon landing to AIDS and cancer cures. He continued to write and speak frequently on these topics and others, as well as on public policy, even at hamfests where he was a guest.

The “Final” in his blog sums up Green’s overarching philosophy. “Wayne Green passed away September 13, 2013 in a peaceful, painless transition from this life on Earth. An eternal optimist, and one who loved to share his never-ending zest for life, he was a friend to many and will be missed greatly. Wayne was not afraid of dying and was very much ready to embark on his next great adventure to the afterlife.”

 



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