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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX003 (2016)

ARLX003 Hollywood Producer, ARRL Patron Dave Bell, W6AQ (SK)

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 3  ARLX003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 16, 2016
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX003 Hollywood Producer, ARRL Patron Dave Bell, W6AQ (SK)

Award-winning Hollywood producer and ARRL benefactor Dave Bell,
W6AQ, of Encinitas, California, died on May 13. He was 84 and had
been a radio amateur for 65 years. Bell had been suffering from
cancer and was in hospice care. An ARRL Life Member and a former
chair of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, Bell directed Amateur
Radio Today and produced several other ham radio-related promotional
videos and films, starting with The Ham's Wide World, a TV
documentary filmed in black and white.

"If I have a claim to fame in Amateur Radio, it's probably that I
produced the first television documentary about ham radio that got
worldwide distribution, and then I made several others before I
'retired' from the ham radio film/video hobby-within-a-hobby and got
busy making a living producing TV movies, specials, and
documentaries for all of the networks including HBO and Showtime,
and made a couple of theatrical feature films - Nadia and The Long
Walk Home," Bell recounted on his profile. He started TV's
Unsolved Mysteries, and he received an Emmy Award in 1985 for
Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special, Do You Remember Love. Bell
chronicled his filmmaking and his Amateur Radio and professional
lives in a memoir, World's Best Hobby.

Last year, Bell and his wife Sam, W6QLT (she's a quilter), donated a
signed Andy Warhol print to the ARRL. The artwork - "Myths: Superman
1981" - sold at auction last fall for $150,000. The proceeds are
being used to create "The Dave Bell, W6AQ, Endowment Fund" to
benefit the League.

Bell also produced The World of Amateur Radio, This is Ham Radio,
and Moving Up to Amateur Radio. He directed the Amateur Radio Today
video in 2002. The short presentation about emergency preparedness
was narrated by former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite,
KB2GSD (SK), written by Alan Kaul, W6RCL, and produced by Bill
Pasternak, WA6ITF (SK) and Bill Baker, W1BKR. Bell and Pasternak
also created The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio in 2011, and he
co-produced The ARRL Goes to Washington, also voiced by Cronkite.
Working on his own, Bell filmed videos for the World Radiosport Team
Championship (WRTC) events in 2000 in Slovenia (The Ham Radio
Olympics) and in 2002 in Finland.

A DXer, casual contester, and a past president of the Southern
California DX Club, Bell was a frequent speaker at Amateur Radio
gatherings. He was named the 1984 Ham of the Year at Dayton
Hamvention, and, in 2003, the ARRL presented Bell with its first
Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on films and videos about
Amateur Radio. In 2011 he was named to the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of

Heil Sound Ltd's Bob Heil, K9EID, called Bell "one of the great
ones." Heil said Bell's "great smile and laughter" and his
"generosity to the hobby" would be missed, "but most of all, we will
miss his spirit."


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