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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Wiley Rein Mourns the Passing of Jim Quello

January 25, 2010

It is with great sadness that Wiley Rein announces the death of Jim Quello, who died January 24, 2010, at the age of 95.  Managing Partner Richard E. Wiley said, “Jim was a one-of-a-kind.  Always colorful, engaging and street-smart, he had a host of friends and admirers throughout the communications industry, the FCC, and among elected officials from both major political parties.  While we mourn the passing of our dear friend and colleague, we celebrate his long lifetime and his many personal and professional accomplishments.”

Mr. Quello, a former Commissioner and interim Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, joined Wiley Rein in 2001 and served as a public policy consultant to its preeminent Communications Practice until his death.  As noted during the presentation of one of the many awards recognizing his lifetime of achievement, he leaves a legacy of “uncommon devotion to his country in peace and war.”

From 1941 to 1945, Mr. Quello served in the U.S. Army, spending three years in Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany.  He survived six amphibious landings, earned several commendations, and rose in rank from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel.  Quello detailed his experience in his autobiography, “My Wars, Surviving WWII & the FCC.” 

Upon returning from Europe in 1945, Mr. Quello moved to Michigan and began a successful career in broadcasting, where he was involved with such early radio shows as “The Lone Ranger” and “The Green Hornet.”  He managed a Detroit radio station and later was a vice president of Capital Cities Broadcasting.  He also served as a Detroit Housing and Urban Renewal Commissioner and as a trustee of the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund.

In 1974, then President Richard Nixon appointed Mr. Quello, a proponent of deregulation, to serve as an FCC Commissioner, a position that he held for more than two decades.  In 1993, he served briefly as the Commission’s Acting Chairman. 

Over the course of his illustrious career, Mr. Quello was the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters and the first Milestone Award from the Institute for Communications Law Studies at the Catholic University of America.  Mr. Quello also was inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Broadcasting/Cable Hall of Fame and the Museum of Broadcast Communications’ Radio Hall of Fame.  In 1998, his alma mater, Michigan State University, honored both Mr. Quello and his wife of more than 60 years, Mary, with the creation of the James H. Quello and Mary B. Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law.