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Local radio legend Ed Walker died Monday morning, less than a day after his final The Big Broadcast aired on WAMU, the station announced Monday. He was 83.
“We are very sad to announce our friend Ed Walker passed away this morning, after listening to his final show with his family,” the station said in a tweet. WTOP was first to report the news.
Walker announced his retirement from radio in mid-October following a cancer diagnosis. He began hosting The Big Broadcast, a weekly show featuring episodes of classic radio programs like Gunsmoke and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, in 1990. Walker—the first blind student to attend American University and one of the co-founders of WAMU’s predecessor, WAMU-AM—recorded his final episode at Sibley Memorial Hospital earlier this month, the Washington Post reported.
“Goodbyes are very hard to do, especially when this has been a labor of love. More than anything else, my thanks go out to all the people at WAMU who’ve helped me over the years,” Walker said in his final broadcast. “Once again, I thank you so much for enjoying the show and being a part of it over these 24 years.
“So for one more time, let’s end the show the way we always do: My name is Ed Walker, and remember, it wouldn’t be Sunday evening if we didn’t have Eddie Cantor to sing.”
Farewell, Ed. Thanks for making our Sunday nights golden. pic.twitter.com/DdQ6mBnlm1— WAMU 88.5 (@wamu885) October 26, 2015