Biographical / Historical
Six months after graduation from Concord, New Hampshire High School in 1920, Edmund A. LaPort obtained a commercial first grade radio operator's license from the Department of Commerce in Chicago. The autumn of 1921 found him as a radio operator at KDKF in New York City. However, due to lack of funds this station closed shortly after he arrived. In December of 1921, he moved to the New York Service Department of Westinghouse installing radio receivers.
On January 2, 1923 he joined General Electric and was made laboratory assistant to I.F. Byrnes, who was in charge of low-power transmitter design. However, LaPort decided he wanted to be a forest ranger and left in July of 1923 and headed back to the woods of New Hampshire. In early 1924 LaPort began working in Montana as a forest ranger. Within a very short time, however, he realized that he was more interested in radio. Before the year was out he returned to Westinghouse where he worked largely on high power transmitters until the spring of 1933. On one assignment he traveled to Peking, China where he helped build three short-wave broadcasting stations.
The Depression proved difficult for fledgling radio companies with many going out of business shortly after opening up. LaPort worked for one of these unfortunate firms before settling in at Wired Radio, Inc. in Newark, New Jersey. Here he gained invaluable experience helping to develop equipment for commercial program transmission over power distribution systems.
In May of 1936 he joined RCA in Camden, New Jersey where he headed up the formation of their first high-power transmitter operation. He stayed with RCA until he retired in 1967. In December of 1938 he moved to Montreal where he helped RCA Victor Co., Ltd. start the development and manufacture of military and professional equipment. He organized engineering and manufacturing facilities and trained personnel. He also took a role in leading the company in developing aviation navigational equipment.
In July 1944 he returned to the United States to become chief engineer of the newly formed RCA International Division. Over the next ten years he traveled widely, undertaking many important field construction projects and consulted with other governments in communications, broadcasting, aviation, and marine matters.
Edmund A. LaPort was a director of broadcast engineering for the Radio Corporation of America. From 1954 until 1967 he worked with others in a corporate level engineering consulting group to coordinate work in the many RCA plants in all aspects of communications. He authored Radio Antenna Engineering which was published by McGraw-Hill in 1952.