James Quello, whose time on the Federal Communications Commission spanned three decades and who later became a consultant to Wiley Rein, has died. He was 95.
President Richard Nixon appointed Quello, a Democrat, as an FCC commissioner in 1974. He was reappointed three times, staying on the commission until 1997. He served as interim chairman in 1993 while the Senate debated the confirmation of President Bill Clinton’s nominee, Reed Hundt, and in that role Quello oversaw the implementation of the Cable Television and Competition Act of 1992.
Quello’s tenure on the FCC was the second-longest in the commission’s history, surpassed only by that of Robert Lee. Wiley Rein name partner Richard Wiley said that Quello first became an FCC commissioner at an age, 60, when many others look to retire. “He’d had his career as a broadcaster, and then he went to the FCC for 23 and a half years, which is an extraordinary amount of time for anyone to serve,” Wiley said.
In a statement, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called Quello “a role model to generations of FCC employees and advocates for his decency, personal charm, and commitment to his work.”
Quello joined what was then Wiley Rein & Fielding as a government affairs consultant in 2001. He had earlier shared office space with the firm while writing his memoirs, My Wars.
A veteran of World War II, Quello was a broadcaster in Michigan before coming to Washington. A center at Michigan State University dedicated to research about telecommunications management and law is named for Quello and his wife. She died in 1999.
Quello died Sunday of heart and kidney failure at his home in Alexandria, Va., said Wiley.