Arthur Godfrey became an icon to us with his success in early 1940s and 50s broadcast radio and television both on NBC and CBS. He was also a very well-known and highly regarded Ham Radio Operator with the station call K4LIB. When he died in March 1983 his much sought after QSL Card seems to have disappeared with him. We know he was heard chatting regularly on the 40 and 80 meter bands. Lots of old hams say they heard him or talked to him, but so few of his cards were ever received it is very difficult to find one. He must not have sent out many cards. But did you know?
A young seaman named Arthur M. Godfrey had served in the United States Navy from 1920 to 1924 as a ship board radio operator on a number of Naval Destroyers. He had to return home to care for his family after the death of his father. Additional radio training became available to him during his service in the United States Coast Guard from 1927 to 1930. During a brief stint while stationed at Curtis Bay Yard near Baltimore he appeared on a local talent show and became popular enough to land his own brief weekly radio program. So it would appear that our young “Red” and his broadcasting career were just getting started.
This Old QSL card dated July 17, 1929 part of my “QSL Cards from the Past” collection shows his EX Coast Guard call sign NGM with Coast Guard Emblem and a notation of his new call W3KY. This card was sent to W1RP in Bridgeport, CT during his Baltimore stint in 1929. So he signed this card Arthur M. Godfrey before he became famous as “Arthur Godfrey” the man we all knew as “The Old Red Head and K4LIB .” Bob Green W8JYZ 2010 www.oldqslcards.com Partially scripted by Wikipedia.
See Remembering Fielden Farrington for more information on Godfrey.