ARRL and International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Emeritus Larry E. Price, W4RA, of Statesboro, Georgia, died on September 10. An ARRL Life Member, he was 85.
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Price was first licensed as WN5TIA at age 16 and subsequently held several other call signs before becoming W4RA. After earning BSEE, MBA, and PhD degrees, he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army Signal Corps and honorably discharged with the rank of captain.
Price spent most of his career as a professor of finance and economics at Georgia Southern University. Upon retirement, he was named emeritus professor and emeritus head of the Department of Finance and Law.
Elected as ARRL Southeastern Division Vice Director in 1973, Price became Director later that year and was elected as an ARRL Vice President by Board of Directors in 1980. In 1983 he became First Vice President following the death of ARRL President Vic Clark, W4KFC, and was elected President by the Board the following year.
He served four 2-year terms as ARRL President, serving simultaneously as IARU Secretary from 1989 until 1992, and continuing as IARU Secretary and ARRL International Affairs Vice President until his election as IARU President in 1999, a post he held for 10 years. The IARU Administrative Council named him President Emeritus upon his retirement in 2009. The ARRL Board named him ARRL President Emeritus in 2011.
In 1973, Price was one of three incorporators of the ARRL Foundation and served for several years as Secretary and Director.
IARU Secretary and retired ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, enjoyed a 46-year relationship with Price. “As a young ARRL staffer, I had the good fortune to be asked to serve as Assistant Secretary of the ARRL Foundation in 1973 and worked closely with Larry from that point on,” Sumner said. “His accomplishments as President of the ARRL and the IARU are too many to list, but neither organization would be what it is today without his vision, dedication, and hard work. We all owe a great debt to Larry and his family for their many sacrifices on our behalf.”
IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, recalls his many years of association with Price. “The Amateur Radio fraternity has lost a valued colleague today,” Ellam said. “Larry Price was the Dean of the IARU, and under his leadership the organization not only achieved great success for the Amateur Radio services but the respect of those we work with in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). His work and tenacity on a number of issues gave the IARU the admiration of many administrations and senior leadership at the ITU, which we continue to enjoy today.”
Ellam said Price was “an excellent mentor to me and many others” over the years, and that during his 10 years as IARU President, he’s tried to maintain the ideals that Price instilled in the organization.
In 2014, Dayton Hamvention® honored Price as Amateur of the Year. At the ARRL Centennial Convention that same year, Price was awarded the ARRL Medal of Honor.
Price’s wife, Barbara Ann Parke Price, died in 1990. He is survived by their three children and several grandchildren. — Thanks to David Sumner, K1ZZ
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