Background & Resource Guide

The chapter outlines show that he had planned to lay out significant moments in the history of telecommunications with attention to the rise of technologies, the emergence of monopolies, and de-regulation and their various economies. He also intended to theorize in the first voice the transformative character and significance of policymaking in the1970’s in connection to these issues.

 Outline of the materials

I. Draft of the History with planned Table of Contents and some emendations and additions, Bibliographies I and II, and links to relevant sources.  This draft of History includes its Table of Contents, Introduction and Chapters 1, 2, and 3 in various stages of development. It also includes Whitehead’s “Broad Outline” and “Topics Draft” as well as eleven Chapter Headings. As for sources, Bibliography I consists of 161 used, and Bibliography II of 68 intended for use.[2] All of the print, video, and audio materials cited in both Bibliography I and Bibliography II are linked here, wherever possible.

II. Primary Sources: audio visual materials including interviews, oral histories, and other materials. This includes news articles, media interviews and appearances in the form of 17 video files and 446 audio files, numerous transcripts, and various print documents.[3] Among these materials, are interviews and newos articles that describe Whitehead’s groundbreaking work in telecom policy and in the telecom industry where, as an entrepreneur, he was a pioneer in the privatization and expansion of satellite telecommunications.

The archive of the Hughes Communications, its founding, and its centerpiece, the Galaxy Project (1977-1983), and the direct-to-home satellite TV broadcast business it initiated in the U.S. is either elusive or non-extant.   The Coronet, or later SES ASTRA, (1983-1985) archive, is privately held and is under review. But there are significant interviews in the Primary Sources that connect to these topics.[4] By design, the Galaxy Project, a cable-The Galaxy satellites were cable-dedicated and launched for three generations. They accelerated the ascendancy of cable communications in the U.S.  ASTRA’s financial and technical models ended the state-owned monopoly over television broadcasting in Europe by bringing viewers hundreds of new free enterprise TV channels. 


[2] Since Whitehead’s death, the sources added to his archive include primary and biographical sources, among them, Whitehead’s resumes and obituaries, as well as various digital video resources, periodicals, other materials, and proposed, that is draft, oral histories of individuals he identified as significant to telecommunications industry from 1970-2000.  Many of these he came to know in the 1970s.

[3] Whitehead’s files other than those in the Library of Congress are at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, CA. Alpha Name Files (1969-1973): Clay T. Whitehead ARC Identifier 2115360, File Unit from Collection RN-SMOF: White House Staff Member and Office Files (Nixon Administration), 01/20/1969 - 08/09/1974.

[4]Whitehead’s Hughes Communications and Galaxy papers remained at Hughes Aircraft, in El Segundo, CA and it appears that the are non-extant. The terms of his Coronet/Astra settlement are sealed as a result of the lawsuit that he waged against SES from c. 1993-2003 and his papers are privately held and under review.