The Original Famous Hams and ex-Hams List

Rumors and Mistaken Identities

To our readers:  I make no claims as to the absolute accuracy of this information, gleaned from many sources, including lots of apocryphal hearsay!

Some of the callsigns in the US may have changed recently due to Vanity Callsign program. So you know, I've been keeping lists like this for the past 20 years, starting on a NJ BBS, later on Prodigy and GEnie ham boards.

The HTML version here dates back to the early 90's. I've added a section at the bottom for sites that appear to contain similar info.

The acronym (SK) means "Silent Key" - a a time-honored radio euphemism for "deceased" 

Please send additions, clarifications, amplifications and corrections to me, Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ:

[Click HERE to send me email]

Last update:  10-SEP-2004

Callsign Name Claim to Fame Notes
WB2JDG Robert Byrne aka "Ben Birnie" - Swing-era bandleader.  Ben Bernie (not Ben Birnie) was the bandleader, and he died in 1943. No way he could have had the call "WB2JDG."  Also, his real name wasn't Robert Byrne; it was "Bernard Anzelevitz." Here's his bio; There is no WB2JDG listed anywhere except here; although there is a modern singer-songwriter "Robert Byrne," there is nothing that suggests he's a ham radio operator. originally listing via W2AAB; moved to Rumors based on W2SG research
W2TQ Joel Miller A number of sites have Mr. Miller listed as a notable ham.  They cite the mistaken "fact" that he is or was an attorney with the IEEE.  He has written a couple of articles for their journal, but, in our opinion, this hardly qualifies him for inclusion on our esteemed list. Originally listed on our Famous Hams site; this erroneous listing has been duplicated quite a few times around the Internet, reinforcing the dubious value of plagiarism!
WD4SKT Donnie Osmond This is NOT the TV personality! Has the same name.  The entertainer once held the callsign KA7EVD and is listed on my Famous Hams site. WD4SKT is named Donald P. Osmond, and was born November 23, 1954.  See this link.

"Donnie Osmond," the entertainer, is named Donald Clark Osmond, and was
born December 9, 1957.  See this link.

N6FUP Stu Cook is NOT a baseball player as some sites would have you believe...check out my Famous Hams site for the truth! -
N6KGB James J. Stewart


Stewart Granger

Has similar name as famous actor; some sites list him as being Stewart Granger, also bogus. N6KGB born 23-OCT-1918; movie actor James L. Stewart (aka Stewart Granger) born 6-MAY-1913; movie actor James M. Stewart (aka Jimmy Stewart) born 20-MAY 1908; N6KGB renewed his license in 1994 after Stewart Granger died (16-AUG-1993). 
VE3SUN Peter Jennings NOT the famous news broadcaster via K4GZZ
WP4CO Jose Feliciano NOT the famous Singer/Songwriter WP4CO was born on 30-MAY-1935, and most biographies list the singer's birthday as 10-SEP-1945. (via K4GZZ)


Were/Are They or Weren't/Aren't They Hams?

Other folks, many of whom are now Silent Keys, who have been listed as possible ham radio operators:

Hello Steve,
I contacted Mike Lamb, one of the founders of the original AEA company and he tells me that Max was not a former employee.  So we figure he must have just had the luck of the draw on the call sign.  Are there family members who are interested in taking over the call sign?   If there is absolutely no family member who would ever want to take the call sign, we might be interested in finding out if we could get it for a club call when it is appropriate (5 years as I remember), but his family absolutely must come first.

Sincerely,  Wayne Dewey, WD6AHX V.P. Sales & Marketing AEA Wireless, Inc.


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