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CEA Mourns Loss Of Industry Leader Known As “Mr. Color Television”


The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today mourns the loss of William E. Boss, Jr., Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame inductee and twice Chairman of the Consumer Electronics Group that later became CEA. At age 86, Bill passed away Wednesday in Indianapolis.

“Bill Boss is widely remembered for his public role in building demand for the new innovation of electronic color television in the 1950’s and early 60’s, and his legacy runs deep at the Consumer Electronics Association. He was a 20-year volunteer, twice serving as Chairman of the Consumer Electronics Group that became CEA. He led our Video Division and helped to build the foundation that we enjoy today,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA President and CEO.

“And while he started in our industry in the late 1940’s, he was also a Navy veteran of World War II and even the senior team manager for the University of Notre Dame football team while in college. Our industry recognized Bill’s long service and groundbreaking marketing work with our highest honor – induction in the CE Hall of Fame in 2002. His example of leadership, careful guidance and marketing prowess will be missed by all who remember his gentle touch,” Shapiro said.

“Bill was an industry stalwart for more than four decades,” said Jack Wayman, former CEA president and founder of CEA’s flagship event, the International CES®. “He was instrumental in the success of color TV not only for RCA, but the entire industry. Bill contributed significantly to the formation of the International CES, was a champion for free trade and was a major voice behind the industry’s success with the Betamax copyright case before Congress and the Supreme Court.”

“Bill Boss was an industry leader, corporate giant, marketing expert, business executive, but above all was a gentleman. And that’s how he will be remembered. I don’t know if there was a more pleasant man in the history of the CE industry,” said Joe Clayton, CEO, Sirius Satellite Radio, and former CEA chairman and RCA executive.

Boss entered the consumer electronics industry in 1947, joining RCA as a sales representative. He served as RCA’s director of color TV development from 1954-1962, when color TV was first launched. Leaving RCA in 1963, he accepted a senior marketing position with Admiral and later held positions at Motorola and GTE/Sylvania before rejoining RCA in 1972.

“Bill was RCA’s ‘Mr. Color TV’ from the first days of city-by-city demonstrations, to the ultimate success of the new category as more networks joined NBC in colorcasting their programming. As a teenager, he saw with his own eyes the 1939 World’s Fair demonstration of RCA’s black-and-white television broadcasts in New York. He was hooked from the beginning. He loved our industry, and he made sure to put something back in to keep it going,” said former RCA marketing VP Dave Arland.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $161 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at


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