RAN Technology

Jean Shepard K2ORS, "Ham Radio" (aka "Heising Modulation")

originally broadcast Jan. 29, 1965

Posted By: Robert Nickels (ranickels)

  Click the Play button above to listen to the podcast. You can also adjust the volume,
and download the podcast file from the above control.


Jean Parker Shepherd Jr. (July 26, 1921 – October 16, 1999) was an American storyteller, humorist, radio and TV personality, writer, and actor. He was often referred to by the nickname Shep, and was known to his ham friends as K2ORS.   With a career that spanned decades, Shepherd is known for the film A Christmas Story (1983), which he narrated and co-scripted, based on his own semiautobiographical stories.

Born in Chicago, as a youth, he worked briefly as a mail carrier in a steel mill and earned his amateur radio license (W9QWN) at age 16, sometimes claiming he was even younger. He sporadically attended Indiana University, but never graduated. Shepherd remained a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan. 

During World War II, he served stateside in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Shepherd then had an extensive career in a variety of media but was best known for his radio show on WOR in New York city, which ran from 1955 til 1977.    Shepherd maintained his interest in amateur radio throughout his life. As his career took him to different locations, he obtained new call signs: W4QWN (Kentucky), W8QWN (Ohio), and W3STE (Pennsylvania). Upon his arrival at WOR in New York in 1955, he obtained the call K2ORS and was quite active on the air.    

The episode titled "Ham Radio" aired in 1965, but is set in his youth in Chicago where the intricacies of Heising modulation competed with his latest hobby...girls.