Alex Kamradt

A partial biography, by Will Johnson, professional genealogist

Alex Kamradt is most well-known for his brief interaction with Jobs and Wozniak prior to their forming Apple Computer. Almost everything written about him, only covers this one-year period. I will now try to fill in the rest of his biography.


Written by Will Johnson,, Professional Genealogist
Copyright 2010, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Carrol Alexander Kamradt, also known as Carl A Kamradt, C. Alexander Kamradt and Alex Kamradt was born in Indiana 18 May 1930 and was murdered in Santa Cruz County, California 19 Aug 1991.
The first mention I find of him as "Carrol A Kamradt" is in "The Hammond Times" in 1951 where he is mentioned as the son of "Mr and Mrs Frank Chovey of East Chicago.  In 1952, Carrol A Kamradt, served in the U.S. Army in Korea.  In 1955 "Corporal Carrol A Kamradt", graduated at the 7th Army's Tank Center in Vilseck from the USAREUR Signal School, in the 68th MP Company, as the top man under "radio mechanic". (I suppose this means top in that coursework.)
Carrol Alexander Kamradt, married Robin Alice LaCroix in Menlo Park, California in Sep 1957, both were then working at Lockheed.  At that time his parents are named as "Mr and Mrs Frank Chavez of Hammond [,Indiana]" apparently his mother's current husband.  Carrol and Robin had three children, two boys and a girl :Eric 1958, Jennifer 1961, Jeffrey 1963, all born in Santa Clara County.  In March 1972, in Santa Clara County, California; Carl A Kamradt divorced from Robin A Lacroix.
In 1968, Alex was working at a place called the "Stanford Research Institute", per the paper "Evaluation of Civil Defense operational concepts", which he that year co-authored with Richard Laurino.
Alex Kamradt founded between 1971 and 1973 a company based in Mountain View, California, named Call Computer which sold computer time-sharing services.  There is a long discussion at this link. also has a copy of a book which discusses this period of Kamradt's life.
At this time Alex heard that Wozniak had created a rudimentary video teletype-and-keyboard interface, and commissioned him to build a few to sell to Call's customers.  This was to replace the print teletypes of the day.  This is mentioned in almost every biography of Apple Computer, or Wozniak or even Jobs for that matter, as happening in 1975/1976.  John T Draper "Captain Crunch", the guy who invented the device that let him make free phone calls, and created EasyWriter, claims to have been the person that introduced Wozniak to Kamradt. (citation)
John Draper had been the System Admin at Call Computer when he introduced Wozniak to Alex Kamradt.  In Draper's self-published bio (cited above), he mentions that Alex was gay and had parties at his house which was directly connected to the room(s) where Call Computer was.  I think this was on Old Middletown Road, I need to find a picture maybe on Google Earth.  Draper left Call when his job was taken over by a "high-school whiz kid" named Les Vogal, who helped Alex write "Manager" a database manager program. (Les on LinkedIn, where he states that he worked at Call from 1974 to 1977.)
Kamradt and Call Computer were still in business in 1982, when Douglas Goodall mentions that his newly-founded company Magus Systems, was able to work out of space offered to him by Kamradt at Call Computer, then in Mountain View, California.
User nicmart states here that he was hired in or just after 1982 to manage a company co-owned by Alex (but he doesn't name it), and that shortly afterward Alex was sent to San Quentin on some sort of charge related to his attraction to under-age boys.  Nicmart states here that Alex was killed by a bullet.

A site reader informs me that Alex also owned a company called V.R.P. Vitamin Research Products, and that "...around 1984/5 his wife somehow took over the company and moved up north.  I do believe the company is still in business."
Alex was murdered 19 Aug 1991, in or near La Salva Beach, by two boys he had picked up in nearby Santa Cruz.  Carrol A Kamradt is buried at Golden Gate Cemetery, in San Francisco, Section Q, Site 80-A.  His California Death Index entry states that his mother's maiden name was Kulchar.
The "San Jose Mercury News" covered the crime, stating that Alex was shot twice by one of three young men he had picked up at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  His body was found in a cul-de-sac off a Highway 1 frontage road, in La Salva Beach.  One of the boys, an 18-year-old from Santa Cruz, was jailed on charges of possession of stolen property.  Another of the boys, a 17-year-old was charged with the murder, but murder charges were then added to the other boy as well.  I can't find any mention of what happened with the third boy.  The trial was conducted by assistant District Attorney Christine McGuire.  The 17-year-old, who was apparently the shooter, received a sentence of eleven years.
Kamradt's ex-wife Robin Lacroix Kamradt testified at the trial.  At that time, she stated that they had three children, and five grandchildren.
I'm not yet sure exactly who Alex's parents were.  There is, in the CADI a woman who died in Santa Clara County in 1985, born in Indiana in 1909, named Judy Patricia Chavez with father's name Kulchar.  So all those data points fit to make her his mother, but I need something more firm.  And now I have it.  In the 1939 Hammond, Indiana city directory "Frank Chavez (Patricia J)" so there you go.

  • California Death Index, 1940-97, "Kamradt" at
  • California Divorce Index, 1966-84, "Kamradt" at
  • U.S. Veterans Gravesites, "Kamradt" at
  • California Birth Index, 1905-95, "Kamradt" at
  • "The Stars and Stripes" (newspaper), 15 Feb 1955
  • "The Daily Times" (Hayward, CA) . 6 Sep 1957