James Henry Quello

Jim Quello’s memoirs, My Wars, were published by Alexis de Tocqueville Institution Publishing in early April, 2001. My Wars chronicled the adventures, exploits and accomplishments of this remarkable member of the “Brokaw Generation.” Following valorous service in the U.S. Army in Europe in World War II, Jim pursued a distinguished career in broadcasting, eventually with ABC at WJR in Detroit. He interrupted private sector success to pursue public service in what became a 23-1/2 year tenure on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Jim Quello was appointed to fill a Democratic seat on the Commission, by a Republican, President Richard Nixon, with strong support from his Vice President Gerald Ford, whose political careen was anchored in Michigan. By the end of his tenure, Jim had served under six Presidents. As an FCC Commissioner, and as Acting Chair for a year, prior to the appointment of Reed Hunt, Jim wielded significant influence on U.S. communications policy during a period of dramatic change in communication technologies and industries. James Quello served as Chairman of the Quello Center until he died on the 24th of January 2010.

Jim Quello embraced innovation in communications. In his prologue to My Wars, he noted that in his 23 1/2 years at the FCC: ‘Telecommunication [moved] from the three-network era of TV scarcity in 1974 to a seven-network era of multi-channel, multi-faceted abundance complemented by cable, satellite and the Internet–all now facing an advanced technological future in the converging digital age.’

More photographs of James H. Quello and his colleagues and friends are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quellocenter/

James Quello at MSU

James Quello at MSU

James Quello

James Quello

Jim and Mary Quello

Jim and Mary Quello

Mary and Jim Quello met as undergraduate students at Michigan State University and were married on September 14, 1937. In the words of former MSU Trustee, Dolores Cook, “Mary was the perfect match for Jim, able to hold her own in any situation and match her husband’s wit and charm with her own.” While assisting Jim in his careers in broadcasting and at the FCC, Mary had a distinguished career of her own as a women’s fashion designer. The Quello Center lost a wonderful friend and invaluable supporter with the passing of Mary B. Quello on October 25, 1999, and then with the death of Jim on the 24th of January 2010.

In a salute to MSU in the last chapter of James Quello’s My Wars (p. 143), he wrote that it was ‘the ultimate honor that our names are associated with our beloved alma mater in perpetuity … For me, it is the capstone of a long and varied communications career that began with the Michigan State News and at WKAR, the 5,000 watt college radio station. I’m taking this opportunity to express my thanks to Michigan State University, to President Peter McPherson, Communications Dean Jim Spaniolo and to the generous contributors to the [Quello] Center for making possible this memorable, gratifying and most enduring of our life-time accomplishments.’