Dick Biondi Obituary: Everyone Remembers the Legendary Radio Personality

dick biondi obituary
dick biondi obituary

The adored disc jockey Dick Biondi, who entertained Chicago’s Top 40 radio listeners for over 60 years, passed away on June 26 at home. WLS 890-AM was announced on Saturday. When he passed away, Biondi was 90 years old and regarded as the greatest disc jockey ever.

WLS 890-AM was announced on Saturday, June 1, by sharing a post on its Facebook page.  WLS 890-AM tribute to Biondi by writing-

“Richard Orlando Biondi, 90, of Chicago, dἰed peacefully at home on Monday June 26th. Dick was born September 13, 1932 in Endicott, New York, to Mike and Rose Biondi. Loving husband of Maribeth, cherished brother of Geri, dear brother-in-law of Ron and Larry (Kathleen), special uncle and cousin of many.”

“He spent most of his 67 year career entertaining the greatest radio audience in the greatest city in the world, Chicago! Heard on WLS, WCFL, WMAQ, WBBM and WJMK, his Radio and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voice will remain as part of the soundtrack of our lives. A private family interment has been held. #rip #dickbiondi #radio #legend”

The National Radio Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s radio exhibit, and the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame all inducted Biondi into their respective halls of fame in recognition of his extraordinary career. In 2010, Chicago honored his contributions to the business by renaming the alley south of the former WLS studios “Dick Biondi Way” to honor his 50 years on the air.

On the occasion of Biondi’s 85th birthday in September 2016, WLS/94.7-FM celebrated the famous personality with a daylong celebration that featured on-air tributes, social media messages, and a dedicated “Happy Birthday, Dick Biondi” web page. Unbeknownst to many, these tributes were Biondi’s goodbye from the Cumulus Media classic hits station.

Since Biondi was admitted to the hospital in April 2017 for a leg condition, fans have anxiously awaited his return. A few weeks later, he issued a statement claiming that his medical team was trying to assist him in regaining his strength.

Biondi, also known as “The Wild I-Tralian,” held a 60% of all listeners during his time at the Top 40 juggernaut WLS 890-AM from 1960 to 1963. He captivated millions of youngsters in 38 states and Canada. He made many turns at other radio stations inside and outside Chicago, including WCFL, WMAQ, WBBM, and WJMK, before returning to the recognizable WLS call letters at WLS 94.7-FM in 2006.

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This reunion came after WJMK abandoned its oldies format in 2005. Biondi continued to broadcast nightly oldies show on the internet and HD radio by the conditions of his contract. However, his fan base drastically shrank, and the station fired him. At the time, Biondi had worked at WJMK for 21 years and was 73 years old.

Beginning his career as a DJ in a modest New York town, Biondi quickly gained notoriety at the top stations in the country. In 1960, he moved to Chicago and started working at WLS 890-AM, popularly called “The Big 89.” His well-liked show attracted viewers from 40 states and some of Canada.

dick biondi obituary

Through his song choices, Biondi had a tremendous impact on the development of the rock ‘n’ roll music scene, affecting the careers of legends like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 1963, he made history when he became the first DJ in America to play a Beatles song, “Please Please Me,” and he also served as the group’s host at other important events.

In his prime, hundreds gathered in front of the old WLS studio on Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue to watch Biondi’s show in person. He even played at innumerable sock hops, social gatherings, and charity events around Chicago. He even cut the hit novelty album “On Top of a Pizza.”

For several years, Biondi’s engagement in organizing toy drives at suburban malls demonstrated his dedication to charitable causes. He enjoyed meeting new people and appreciated public engagements, which made him stand out from other disc DJs.

Mike and Rose Biondi welcomed Richard Orlando Biondi into the world on September 13, 1932, in Endicott, New York. He is survived by his wife Maribeth, brother Geri, brothers-in-law Ron and Larry (Kathleen), and many cousins and nieces. Private memorial services were arranged in his honor.

Note: That’s all we know about Dick Biondi. His obituary details are still unknown. We will get back to you with more information about him soon. Please send your thoughts and prayers to the deceased’s family and friends at this difficult time.

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Arun has three years of experience as a content writer, lives in Panipat, Haryana, and is pursuing a postgraduate degree in English literature. He is proficient in writing, editing, proofreading, content strategy, and cricket watching. Word from Arun: “Overpower. Overtake. Overcome.”