Former FCC Commissioner Quello dead at 95

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ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA (BNO NEWS) — James Quello, who was a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for more than two decades, died of natural causes on Sunday. He was 95.

Quello died of heart and kidney failure while surrounded by his family at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, according to a prepared statement from Broadcasting & Cable, which named Quello to its Hall of Fame in 1995.


“It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of former Commissioner Jim Quello,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Jim was a friend and beloved Commissioner of this agency for more than two decades.”

Quello was born on April 21, 1914, in Laurium, Michigan, twenty years before the creation of the FCC. “Known as the ‘Dean’ of the FCC — and ‘Boss’ to the many staffers who worked for him — he was a role model to generations of FCC employees and advocates for his decency, personal charm, and commitment to his work,” Genachowski said. “He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of service to the FCC, the communications industry, and the American people.” He was best known as a strong defender of free, over-the-air broadcasting.

Quello joined the FCC in 1974 and served more than 23 years. He was named interim chairman in 1994 and retired in 1997. Most recently he worked as a public policy consult for Wiley Rein, while working alongside former FCC Chairman Richard Wiley.

The Democrat, who was first appointed by Republican President Richard Nixon, is also a former President of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and recipient of its lifetime achievement award. He also received the National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished service award in 1994.

Further, Quello was the founder and chairman of the board of the James H. and Mary B. Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law at Michigan State University, his alma mater. He also was a World War II veteran.

James Quello is survived by his sons, James M. and Richard B. Quello, his wife, Kim, granddaughters Susan Butler Quello and Diane Watson, and a great granddaughter, Bethany Watson.

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