From country leaders to the leaders of the world’s largest companies, amateur radio unites people of different backgrounds and professions. Who are the most famous amateur radio operators?

Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor and the person who first adapted radio waves into a functioning communication system. After the initial idea of interconnected telegraphic systems, many people began experimenting with possibility of making it wireless.

At the break between 1800’s and 1900’s wireless was completely unregulated, as nobody really knew how it worked with all the transmitters and receivers, resulting in many people experimenting with their transmitters and receivers.

It’s hard to tell who was the world’s first radio amateur. Rumors are that it could have been M.J.C. Dennis from London, UK. Influenced by Marconi’s experiments, Dennis reportedly built first non-professional wireless station in the world in 1898.

The interest has grown more and more ever since. Nowadays the field is regulated with licensing and the hobby has become well-established. Red Pitaya recognized the interest and built Hamlab, which includes everything any ham radio operator needs for its daily operations. From country leaders to the leaders of the world’s largest companies, amateur radio unites people of different backgrounds and professions.

1. Yuri Gagarin (UA1LO)

Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space in 1961. This historic flight brought him immediate worldwide recognition. However, only few people know that Russian cosmonaut was also a ham radio operator. Most of the members of today’s astronaut corps are licensed amateur radio operators.

2. Les Hamilton (GM3ITN)

Les Hamilton was a Scottish ham radio operator who first alerted the British government that the Falkland Islands had been invaded by Argentina. During the occupation he was the only person in Britain to be in regular radio contact with the islanders.

3. John Sculley (K2HEP)

John Sculley, the former president of PepsiCo (1977–1983), became the CEO of Apple Inc. in 1983 and he is also a licensed radio amateur. The marketing genius remained on the position for ten years and even saw the great Steve Jobs resign from his position after the fight between the two of them.

Want to become famous ham radio operator? Don’t miss our latest product!

Meet HAMLAB

4. Qaboos bin Said al Said (A41AA)

Qaboos bin Said al Said is the Sultan of Oman. And not just that. The country’s leader is a radio amateur as well! Qaboos bin Said al Said became the Sultan of the country of Oman in 1970 and has remained on the position to this day.

5. Juan Carlos (EA0JC)

From one country leader to another. Well almost. Juan Carlos resigned as the King of Spain from 1975 to 2014. His amateur radio callsign is EA0JC.

6. Marlon Brando (FO5GJ)

Last Tango in Paris, The Godfather, Julius Caesar… Who hasn’t heard of these cult movies? They all have one thing in common. It’s Marlon Brando, one of the best actors in history. And there’s more. Marlon Brando was a licensed radio amateur, with the callsign FO5GJ.


Photograph by POPPERFOTO/GETTY IMAGES