Frank Gregg Kear earned his B.S. in electrical engineering in 1926 from Lehigh before going on to earn both a Master's degree and Ph.D. in the same field from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1933 he was hired at the National Bureau of Standards. He was part of the team working on the development of the first aircraft instruments landing system, which was initially installed at College Park and Newark.
After a World War II experience in which he rose from a reserve officer commissioned in the Army Tank Corps to retire as a Naval Reserve Captain, he was involved in the development of Synchronization in Antenna Rays. This was his doctorate thesis at MIT, and was the basis for the theory underlying the reliability of low-frequency air navigation range systems. He moved from this into the development of the highly specialized TV antenna systems and aircraft landing systems.
After World War II he joined with Mr. R.E.L. Kennedy in forming the consulting firm of Kear and Kennedy. The most widely known of his designs is the multiple antenna system on the Empire State Building. In the mid-1950s, President Eisenhower appointed him to a five-man advisory committee for telecommunications. Then, in 1965, together with Andrew Alford of Alford Manufacturing Co., Kear co-invented the first Master FM Antenna system in the world designed to allow individual FM stations to broadcast simultaneously from one source. Since its 1965 installation, Kear's Empire State Building design has been copied numerous times in the US and abroad. One such mimicry is the related and extremely similar multiple antenna transmission system for Twin Peaks near San Francisco.
Kear received the National Association of Broadcasters' Engineer of the Year award in 1976. He was also a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and served as president of the Association of Communications Engineers.
Birth: October 18, 1903
Died: July 21, 1983
Degree: B.S. in Electrical Engineering
Notable Achievement: Co-invented antenna on the Empire State Building