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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB039 (1998)

ARLB039 Sen Barry Goldwater, K7UGA, SK

ARRL Bulletin 39  ARLB039
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  May 29, 1998
To all radio amateurs

ARLB039 Sen Barry Goldwater, K7UGA, SK

Former US Senator, onetime presidential candidate, and noted radio
amateur Barry Goldwater, K7UGA, died May 29.  He was 89.  Goldwater
had suffered a stroke in 1996 and had been in failing health.

A staunch conservative, Goldwater was the 1964 Republican
presidential nominee and served five terms in the US Senate.  He
also authored the book Conscience of a Conservative.  Goldwater
retired from politics in 1986.  His home was in Scottsdale, Arizona.

As a Senator, Goldwater's legacy included several pieces of Amateur
Radio-related legislation.  In 1964, Goldwater's bill to allow
reciprocal operating agreements between the US and other countries
was signed into law.  It was his work on the bill that prompted the
Arizona Senator to renew his interest in ham radio after a long

Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign tried to tap into his ham
radio connections with a ''Hams for Barry'' fundraising effort.  He
took time out of the campaign to address the ARRL National
Convention in New York City, on the occasion of the League's 50th
anniversary.  In his remarks, Goldwater reminisced about his
youthful foray into Amateur Radio as 6BPI.  He was first licensed in
1921, and joined the ARRL in 1923.  ''You can't imagine what a
relaxation ham radio is for me,'' the campaign-weary Goldwater told
the gathering.  He related how, during the GOP Convention earlier
that summer, he'd made several hundred contacts from his hotel room
using a borrowed Collins S-line.  The convention presented Goldwater
with a certificate of appreciation for his work on behalf of the
hobby (see QST, Oct 1964, p 80).  Goldwater lost the 1964 election
to Lyndon Johnson.

While serving as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee
in 1981, Goldwater introduced landmark legislation proposing several
changes to the Communications Act affecting amateurs.  In 1982,
Congress finally approved and President Reagan signed what came to
be known as the Goldwater Amateur Radio legislation, enacted as
Public Law 97-259.  The measure established the Amateur Auxiliary
and the volunteer examination programs, permitted 10-year license
terms, and exempted Amateur Radio from the secrecy provisions in the
Communications Act.  The Goldwater bill also ended years of
Congressional wrangling and authorized the FCC to set RFI
susceptibility standards for home electronic devices.

A year later, President Reagan signed into law a bill including a
Goldwater amendment that allowed the recovery of costs in the
Volunteer Examiner program (the FCC didn't authorize the plan until
months later, however).

At one point in his ham radio career, Goldwater operated as K3UIG
from his Senate office and as K7UGA when he was home in Arizona. He
called his Arizona ham shack ''bash-hal-ne-ae,'' which he said was
Navajo for ''music from iron'' or ''metal that talks.''

Goldwater was a life member of the ARRL.  He was elected president
of the Quarter Century Wireless Association in 1971.  A pilot during
World War II, he held the rank of General in the Air Force Reserve
and was an active member of Air Force MARS.  During the Vietnam War
era, Goldwater handled hundreds of thousands of phone patches.  He
also held a pilot's license and occasionally operated aeronautical

In 1983, Amateur Radio paid homage to Goldwater as ''its
governmental protector and advocate'' by establishing the $5000 ARRL
Scholarship to Honor Barry Goldwater, K7UGA.  In announcing the
scholarship, then-ARRL Washington Area Coordinator Perry Williams,
W1UED, said that Goldwater's Amateur Radio involvement had ''brought
joy to thousands of members of the armed services stationed
overseas, and through his professional career, he has exemplified
the principles of commitment and service to one's country and fellow

Then-FCC Chairman Mark Fowler said the Amateur Radio community was
lucky to have Goldwater as its ''elder statesman'' in government and
noted that the FCC often had Goldwater review ham-related proposals
before it took action on them.

The Goldwater scholarship, administered by the ARRL Foundation, is
awarded each year to a deserving radio amateur to encourage a spirit
of achievement and dedication in the field of communication.

ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, said that of
amateurs in the public sector, Goldwater was ''without peer.''
Southwestern Division Director Fried Heyn, WA6WZO, called Goldwater
''a super ham'' who was ''concerned about the future of Amateur

Goldwater's first wife, Peggy, died in 1986.  The couple's two sons
and two daughters and Goldwater's second wife, Susan, are among his


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