Avionics pioneer Edward King Jr. dies

June 7, 2012

As a pilot, Edward King Jr. wasn't satisfied with the radios in airplanes, so he invented better ones. The entrepreneur launched Communications Accessories Corp. in 1948 and sold it to Collins Radio Corp. in 1956. He later founded King Radio in 1959, selling it to Allied Signal/Bendix Aerospace in 1985. King died June 3; he was 90 years old.

His son, Ed King III, told The Register-Guard that his father “was a pilot, he knew the radios were mediocre, he’d always been a radio guy and he loved radio communications. He began tinkering around until he had a radio he thought was better.”

Over the years, the National Business Aviation Association honored King twice, once in 1988 with the NBAA Meritorious Service to Aviation Award and again in 2003 with the NBAA First Century of Flight Award.

“Ed King was one of the most important figures in the development of modern avionics,” NBAA President Ed Bolen said in a news release after learning of King’s death. “His vision and entrepreneurial spirit helped establish and advance the state of the art for onboard electronics.”