William A. Simons, W9BB (ex-W9YXJ), passed away in Minnesota on January 2, 2012 at the age of 84. He earned his Class B ticket in 1941 at the age of 14 and converted a cathedral radio into his first transmitter. Later, Bill earned DXCC using homebrew gear of his own design. Eventually he earned a top spot on the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll.
Bill’s professional career spanned 31 years with Shure Inc — most notably as plant manager and director of international purchasing. While there he enjoyed many accomplishments, but he may be best known as the father of the Shure 440/444 communications microphone. He later wrote: “The response to the microphone was outstanding. It took over the market and Shure became the most popular ham microphone around. Mr. Shure was very pleased with what we were able to do.”
More details about Shure Amateur Radio microphones and the part Bill Simons played in their development appear in the June 2002 issue of the Metro Amateur Radio Club newsletter.
Simons was preceded in death by his wife, Erika. He is survived by his son
Ken and his daughter Laurie.
Thanks to ARRL Life Member Mike Dinelli, N9BOR, and Ken Simons for providing the information for this article.