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Don Wade, of WLS' 'Don Wade and Roma' radio show, dies at 72

September 9, 2013 9:51:48 AM PDT
Don Wade, a Chicago radio legend, has died after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

His death came Friday but was just announced Sunday. Wade died in Florida with his wife, Roma, at his side. Wade had a 55-year career in broadcasting, including 27 years in Chicago at WLS. During that career, his work ranged from comedy to rock and roll DJ.

At WLS, Wade and his wife Roma began hosting their long-running morning talk show in 1989. The team interviewed politicians and turned the microphone over to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who served as a guest host after his impeachment.

On Sunday night, Roma issued a statement saying, "We had a lifetime of blessings together and one of the very best was sharing our thoughts, our family, our joys and sorrows with you, our radio family. You meant the world to us."

Don Wade was 72.

"As a city, we are saddened to hear of the passing of Don Wade. For nearly three decades, Don entertained and enlightened his listeners and the lifetime of contributions he made to our city will be truly missed. Don's zeal for his job was matched only by his love for his wife Roma and though his voice has fallen silent, his influence will echo on in Chicago for years to come," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

In December, the couple gave up their radio show to focus on Wade's health. WLS radio host Roe Conn told the Chicago Sun-Times that Wade was "one of the first guys to do conservative talk with a heart."

For more information: Don Wade WLS-AM memorial page or Send your personal condolences to Roma

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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