George E. Sterling Radio engineer

November 17, 1990

Services for George E. Sterling, who started the U.S. radio intelligence operations during World War II, will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home in Portland, Maine.

Mr. Sterling, who was 96 and lived in Portland, died Wednesday at a nursing home there after a short illness.

He worked for the Federal Communications Commission for many years before retiring as a member of the commission in 1954.

In the 1920s, he wrote a radio manual that came to be used as a textbook by radio engineers.

In the ensuring years, he saw the need for improved communications intelligence and won White House approval to form the Radio Intelligence Division in 1940. In a little more than a year, it established more than 100 monitoring stations. After the war, its work was taken over by the National Security Agency and a section of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Born in Portland, Mr. Sterling attended the Johns Hopkins University.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Margaret Farray; a daughter, Patricia Sterling Jabine of Baltimore; a sister, Emily Sterling of Springvale, Maine; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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