Jean Touzot, F8IL, of Albi, France — said to have been the world’s oldest radio amateur — has died. The “dean of French radio amateurs,” Touzot was 109 and enjoyed operating CW with an old-fashioned hand key and a modern Yaesu transceiver. He “retired from the airwaves for health reasons” at age 105 in 2014, according to media accounts. Until then he had been active on the air, making daily contacts on 80-meter CW with other stations in France. In stepping back from his ham activity, Touzot said he no longer was able to send CW and made “too many mistakes.”
He was a member of France’s International Amateur Radio Union member-society REF as well as of the Union of French Telegraphists (UFT).
Born in Algeria, Touzot had been on the air since 1936 and had learned CW in 2 months during his time in the military. Prior to military service, he attended the Technical Institute of Toulouse and became an industrial designer, retiring in 1966.
Touzot received considerable acclaim in 2009, when he became a centenarian. Among his gifts was a special Morse key created especially for him.
No official records are kept to document who is the oldest radio amateur.