Professional Media Engineering by:
Interstellar Communications, Inc.
San Luis Obispo, Calfornia USA.
Silent key refers to an amateur radio operator who is deceased. The key in the term refers to a telegraph key, the instrument that all early amateur operators, as well as many contemporary amateur radio operators, have used to send Morse code. The term is used to refer to any amateur radio operator who is deceased, regardless of whether or not they were known to have actively used a telegraph key or Morse Code in their two-way personal communications.
Even though many of these "Silent Keys" were not amateur radio operators, their connection to the broadcast communications industry warrants them the designation.