OGDEN’S RADIO SCHOOL

Ogden’s Radio Operational Engineering School

Much of the information herein  was contributed by  many of the students from across the country who know they were lucky to be a student of William B. Ogden.   We are particularly pleased to locate and contact Bill’s  niece Patty Porter  and  nephew Jim McDonald who contributed information and photo’s of Bill, Tally and Thora.   Thank you very much.

Compiled by Bob Pinheiro


By Jim McDonald, Huntington  Beach, CA.    Bill Ogden’s Nephew.

The FCC First Class Radio Telephone (First Phone)  examination was a very difficult test and required many hours of study to pass. The William B. Ogden Radio Operational Engineering School (ROES)  was established in 1946 in Burbank, CA. offering a standard course of study lasting over a period of several months. However, at the request of broadcasters,  and to meet the high demand for first class licensed operators, owner Bill Ogden  converted  his standard course  in 1949 to a  concentrated course  (cram course) of 6- 8 weeks,  12-16 hours a day, seven days a week.

Thora, Bill and Tally.

Bill was the main instructor, his wife Tally and her sister Thora ran the office and Major (the collie) offered encouragement.

In 1966 the school moved to Huntington Beach, CA with the first class being held in the summer of that year.  The school continued to operate until 1973 or 1974 when the FCC deregulated license requirements and Bill announced his retirement.

If you are an Ogden grad, please read and sign our guestbook and relive those memorable days at the William B. Ogden Radio Engineering School.

Much of the information here was contributed by  many of the students from across the country who know they were lucky to be a student of William B. Ogden.   We are particularly pleased to locate and contact Bill’s  niece Patty Porter  and  nephew Jim McDonald who contributed information and photo’s of Bill, Tally and Thora.   Thank you very much.

Now sit back and enjoy  this trip and memories of the William B. Ogden Radio Operational school.

8 thoughts on “OGDEN’S RADIO SCHOOL”

  1. I was barely 19 yr.s of age when I enrolled at R.O.E.S. It took me six (6) full weeks, but with Bill Ogden’s dogged persistence, I successfully passed the FCC First Class Radio License. It literally changed my life and I’ll be forever grateful to Bill, Tally, Theora and Major Comet Zip for making it possible.

    I went on to own and operate three small market radio stations. Subsequently, branched out into to become stockholder and president of a group of cable TV systems.

    My broadcast interest led me to politics where I served as City Councilman and two-time Mayor of Escondido, California.

    My experience at R.O.E.S. was a very special time in my life and have Bill Ogden to thank.

  2. I remember Bill allowing us to watch the moon landing in July 1969. We slept upstairs and spent long hours studying for the first class license downstairs. Our excitement was watching the fireworks from Disneyland at night. Don’t forget the planes almost hitting our building while taking off from airport. Never forget our time at Bill Ogden’s. Pat LaPointe class of 1969

  3. After my U.S.A.F. discharge in ‘57 I went to Ogdens school in Burbank. After six weeks of study, 10-12 hours a day I had my First Phone and first radio job.
    In retrospect I owe the beginning of my 47 year radio career to Bill and the many hours he personally spent with
    our group working by our side seven days a week.
    Don Pummill
    Class of 1962

    1. Don,
      Thanks for visiting our on-line Museum. We encourage you to sign the Ogden’s Guestbook, and share your memories. If you have any photos of your Ogden’s days, please send them our way. Ogden’s had thousands of graduates, including you! Congratulations to you on a nice career.
      Rick Myers, Modesto Radio Museum President
      Ogden’s Class of 1968

  4. As a high school dropout, I attended “Bill” Ogden’s ROES, class of January, 1970 and graduated in February that year. Doing Radio was a kick, as we say in the vernacular, but it created anxiety and underarm odor for me with my limited academics. But it did serve to send me back to school… with a GED, four years later I graduated with Honors from Phoenix College. I discovered my raison d’etre in Psy 101. I fell in love with Psychology and went to ASH, the Arizona State Hospital to start my career as a Behavioral Counselor. I am proud of my experience in Bill’s ROES; I am ever indebted to Bill for teaching me that I could accomplish the difficult.

  5. I attended Bill Ogden’s Radio Operational Engineering School back in 1971, Bill affectionally would tell us “You don’t have the brains God gave a tennis ball”. I will never forget those 12 hour school days , theory in the morning and math in the evening . I wish I had stayed in contact with some of my classmates .

    1. Thanks for visiting the Ogden Pages; you’ve joined hundreds of others. If you have your class photo from ’71, please send us a copy. We will place your comments in the Ogden’s Guestbook. If you have any more stories, please send those, too—Rick Myers, Modesto Radio Museum President, and Ogden grad ’68.

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