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Robert M. Morris

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Biography

Robert M. Morris was an electrical engineer and radio pioneer who worked as an antenna designer at RCA Corporation and a broadcast engineer at NBC and ABC.

Morris was born in 1902. At age 13, as ham radio signals became available in his hometown, he bought his first wireless set to listen to these amateur-broadcast frequencies. He attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. There, he worked with the Victoreen company, which had developed radio receivers powerful enough to send cross-Atlantic broadcasts. He passed the amateur radio license test in 1922 and became the third person in the world to talk on the radio across the Atlantic Ocean in 1923, making contact with a French ham operator.

Morris worked at the radio station WEAF, an NBC flagship station, beginning in 1924. He later worked as an antenna design engineer at RCA, helping Edwin H. Armstrong develop the first FM radio systems and designing and installing the first television transmitting tower atop New York’s Empire State Building. During World War II, he built military radio monitoring stations. After the war, he worked at ABC until his retirement. He remained a fixture in the amateur-radio world until his death.