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Radio DJ Deaths: The "Crash Curse" And Oher Awful Ends

Being on the Radio may be more dangerous than it seems.


According to a section of theRock Radio Scrapbook websitecalled Rock Radio Heaven, DJs and Radio personalities have had their share of untimely deaths.

DJ Crash Curse

One has to wonder if there is some sort of "DJ Crash Curse". For instance:

Irv Smith, morning man at WINS, New York, died in a car crash on January 31, 1959.

J.P. Richardson, a DJ from KTRM, Beaumont, Texas, also known as "The Big Bopper", died intheplane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, February 3, 1959.

Don Owens, aka "Big Daddy", from WLCY, Tampa, died in a motorcycle crash in 1964.

Dick Norman, from WFLA, Tampa, died in an auto accident on January 26, 1989.

Barney Pip, who worked at many stations including WCFL, Chicago and WOKY, Milwaukee, died in a car crash in 1994.

Bobby Simon, who worked at stations including KZOK, Seattle and WIFE, Indianapolis, died in a car crash November, 2002.

More Unfortunate Exits

Car and plane crashes aside, DJs have also had their share of unsavory endings:

On January 22, 1965, the man who coined the phrase, "Rock 'n' Roll", Alan Freed, drank himself to death at age 43.

Terry Steele, known as "The Bear", who worked at several Toronto Radio stations including CHUM, died after a freak fall in his bathtub.

Roger Christian, who spent most of his Radio career at Los Angeles Radio stations including KHJ and KRTH, committed suicide July 11, 1991 at age 56.

Steve Feinstein worked at KLOS, Los Angeles, WYSP, Philadelphia and others. He killed himself at age 40 by jumping off the 30th floor of a hotel building.

In South Africa on February 9 2005, Popular DJ Benny Kamati from Radio Energy, better known as BK to his listeners, committed suicide.

In New York City on March 20 2009, George Weber - a longtime radio newsman - was found dead, the victim of a brutal stabbing.

The Pefect DJ Farewell

Maybe the one DJ who exited the best was Jack Spector. Spector worked at many New York City Radio stations during his career and when it was time, he died on-the-air during his show at WHLI,Garden City, New York.

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