Frances Cripps died yesterday, May 7th 2008, at high-noon in Corvallis, Oregon. She was 93 years old. She had suffered a long illness.
Why is this news in HDTV Magazine, you should rightly ask? Frances was one of many unsung heroes who played key roles in furthering HDTV. Always far-seeing and an engineer by nature, she recognized the challenge that lay ahead for HDTV and understood her son's passion for it. And who is her son? Well, that is me, Dale Cripps, founder of this publication and one who has been involved with the HDTV movement since 1984.
The year 1986 was a critical time for the then fledgling HDTV Newsletter (the predecessor to this magazine). One dark day in that worrisome era an unsolicited check for $50,000 came in the mail and lit up an industry. It was from--you guessed it, Frances Cripps. That money propelled me over the next two years to every HDTV conference and seminar held any and every place in the world. It was, in part, this frequency of my appearance that convinced the industry that there was enough drawing power in HDTV for it to succeed. Courage, after all, was the single-most important factor in getting HDTV started. My self-appointed job as writer of the newsletter was to instill that courage by characterizing our collective work as a socially significant mission with a regrettable 'hell-to-pay' should it fail. During those travels in '86 and '87 enough subscribers were found that the 44 page monthly newsletter became self-sustaining. I hazard to guess what would have become of HDTV had that money from my mom never appeared. There are many such HDTV heroes with equally meaningful stories who, regrettably, may never be known.
So raise your glass with me and toast my beloved mother in a tribute to them all. And as we approach Mother's Day here in the U.S. this Sunday, I'd ask that everyone thank and/or remember their mothers for the motivation imparted on their respective lives.
My family and I have endowed a trust to further the education of gifted students in science and, as with HDTV, place a bet on the future. Those in both the public and private sectors who see the enormous contribution to global communications and human betterment made by the HDTV Movement can send contributions to:
Ray, Frances, and Dale Cripps Student Support Endowment
Dale Cripps, Founder
Posted by Dale Cripps, May 8, 2008 12:03 PM
About Dale CrippsDale Cripps is a professional journalist who has focused two thirds of his career on the subject of high-definition television. Upon completing his education in business and service in the military he formed Cripps and Associates, South Pasadena, California, in 1964, which operated as a market-development company for aerospace services. In 1983 he turned to television and began what has become a 20 year campaign to pioneer HDTV. For fifteen of those years he published the well-regarded HDTV Newsletter (an international monthly written for television professionals). During much of this same time he also served as the HDTV-Technical Editor for "Widescreen Review Magazine." On November 16, 1998 he launched the Internet distributed HDTV Magazine, which remains the only consumer publication devoted exclusively to high-definition television. In April of 2002 he co-founded with Tedson Meyers of Coudert Bros, the High-definition Television Association of America, which is presently based in Washington DC. Cripps is the president of this organization. Mr. Cripps is a charter member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers and honored by that organization with the DTV Press Leadership Award of 2002. He makes his home in Oregon.