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Amateur Radio Personality, Broadcaster, Businessman Al Cohen, W1FXQ, SK


Veteran radio amateur Alexander “Al” Cohen, W1FXQ, of Newington, Connecticut, died on July 27. He was 99. A businessman, Cohen was a fixture within the Greater Hartford, Connecticut, Amateur Radio community as well as in broadcasting circles. He was an ARRL member and had served as the Public Information Coordinator and as a Public Information Officer for the ARRL Connecticut Section. Cohen was licensed in 1932 at age 14. When he was 18, he obtained an FCC First-Class Radiotelephone License.

After graduating from Hartford Public High School as a member of the National Honor Society, he went to work as a radio repairman. He later gravitated into radio broadcasting, going to work in the engineering department of WTHT and eventually becoming its local sales manager and the creator of advertising jingles. When WTHT and WONS merged to become WGTH in 1954, he worked for a short time at WGTH before going out on his own to co-found (with the late Gilbert Edlin) Signal Electronic Supply. He retired in 1991 but continued there part time until 2005. He was also co-founder of Atlantic Radio Service with the late Donald Putnam, and of Charter Oak Productions with the late Leonard Schoenfeld.

Cohen served during World War II with the US Army Air Corps in its 1st Photo Mapping Squadron, and he installed radio stations in the Canadian Arctic. He later served in North Africa and Okinawa. He and another officer started a squadron radio station.

Cohen was a charter and life member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA). He was past president and program chair of QCWA Milton Chaffee Memorial Chapter 149, and had received his 80-year membership certificate. He also had belonged to the Pioneer Valley Radio Association, the Greater Norwalk Radio Club, the Insurance City Repeater Club, the Hartford County Amateur Radio Association, and the Middlesex Amateur Radio Society

Cohen belonged to the Newington Amateur Radio League and had received its Lifetime Achievement and its Ham of the Year awards. A brick in honor of Al Cohen and his late wife Myra is set in the patio at ARRL Headquarters in Newington.

Cohen belonged to several Hartford area business and veterans’ organizations. A service was held on July 30.