Former White House Cybersecurity Advisor Howard A. Schmidt, W7HAS, SK

Howard A. Schmidt, W7HAS, of Muskego, Wisconsin — a global leader in cybersecurity and the first person to hold the post of White House Cybersecurity Coordinator — died on March 2. An ARRL member, he was 67. Schmidt served both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as their administrations’ top cybersecurity advisor.

“I love technology, and it was Amateur Radio that caused me to build my first computer — a Sinclair ZX80 — to use for EME calculations,” he said in a 2009 interview. “I studied all about the OSCAR systems and would build equipment to monitor when they would pass within range of Arizona,” where he spent his younger years. He said that set him on the path to computer crime investigations and computer forensics, which, in turn, led to his career in cybersecurity.

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