DENVER — Dr. Byron St. Clair, president emeritus of the National Translator Association, died May 20 in Denver of brain cancer. He was 93.
St. Clair, who served as president of the National Translator Association for 19 years, is known as the "father of translators, LPTV and low-power FM," the association said.
He worked to serve those living in the mountainous rural western United States with broadcast service and in so doing created a new class of over-the-air broadcasting, which has grown to more than 4,000 stations that serve millions of people.
“Byron was a friend and mentor to all, a man of immense intellect, wisdom, ethics, kindness and vision,” said NTA President John Terrill.
During his career, St. Clair was director of R&D for Adler Electronics and founded and served as president of EMCEE, a manufacturer and installer of TV translators. In 1967, he founded and was president of Television Technology Corp. in Arvada, Colo., which later became Larcan-TTC.
St. Clair obtained a BSEE in 1945 and a master’s degree in physics in 1949 from Columbia University. He earned a Ph.D in physics in 1953 from Syracuse University.
He was a member of the National High Definition Television Subcommittees, Systems Subcommittee Working Party to Field Test Task Force, a board member of the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance, a member and active participant in the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE). St. Clair also was a member of the board of directors for Denver public broadcaster KBDI-TV.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering recognized St. Clair in 2017 with its Jules Cohen award for lifetime achievement.
AFCCE President John Lyons said, “I had the pleasure to sit and speak with with Byron over the last several years discussing his time in New York while attending Columbia for his BS and MA in Physics. He reminisced about living on the waterfront and his enjoyment of education. We will all stand to toast Byron at our Annual Meeting next month in Seattle."
The NTA is establishing The Byron W. St. Clair Memorial Scholarship Fund in partnership with the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers for promising undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in a career in broadcast engineering at accredited U.S. universities and colleges.
St. Clair is survived by his wife of 71 years, Julie, and daughter Susan Hansen of Arvada, Colo. A memorial service will be held in June. Details were not immediately available.