Jack Kean, 90, Emmy Award-winning Engineer

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From the Hartford Courant

John W. Kean (Jack), 90, beloved husband of Lucille (Vincent) Kean of West Hartford, CT, passed away peacefully, Friday, October 4, 2019 at St Mary’s Nursing Home.

Jack served in the US Navy from 1946-1948, and attended engineering school both during and after. He started his lifelong career as a broadcast engineer in 1954 in Springfield MA, then moved on to Hartford.

In 1958 he went to work for WGBH in Boston as a cameraman, producer, transmitter supervisor and remote operations supervisor where he worked on many different productions including shows for Julia Child, Eleanor Roosevelt, and MIT and was also instrumental in work on the first broadcast signal to be transmitted via the Telstar 1 Satellite. He helped to invent remote television operations by building custom remote vehicles for WGBH.

In 1968, Jack moved on to CPTV in Hartford to take a role as Chief Engineer, ultimately retiring as the VP of Engineering and Operations in the mid 1980s. He then continued on as an industry consultant until 2002. Among his most notable accomplishments during his time at CPTV was conceiving and building one of the first portable full-color cameras for remote television broadcasting. This prompted RCA to later build a much smaller unit intended for broader industry use.

In 1985, Jack and PBS Engineering received an Emmy Award for Technical Excellence for their work to deliver significantly improved UHF transmitter efficiency. In 1999, he received a second Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: The Silver Circle Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also was involved with IEEE and NAB, where among his many projects he helped to establish HDTV and Digital broadcasting standards for the United States.

In 2008 he was honored as one of the Founders of CPTV/WNPR. During his long and storied career, Jack helped lay the groundwork for what broadcasting has become today.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Connecticut Public Broadcasting. For online condolences, please visit www.taylorandmodeen.com.

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