When legendary radio personality Ron Chapman retired from full-time work on the airwaves in 2005, it didn’t take much to get everyone to tell their favorite story about the Radio Hall of Famer.
“There will never be another run like his,” D Magazine‘s Tim Rogers wrote at the time. “Forty-five years in one market. Thirty-two of them at the same station. He was No. 1 forever. He killed the competition. And every morning he was there for us, standing at his mic, drinking Dr Pepper, talking to the city.”
What followed was story after story about Chapman, who started as a DJ in 1953, and his more infamous bits.
Chapman died Monday at the age of 85, the Texas Radio Hall of Fame announced on its Facebook page.
“Three time radio Hall of Famer and Dallas radio ICON Ron Chapman has passed,” the organization said. “His family asks for time to process this loss, and thanks you for your kindness, understanding and prayers. There will be NO service, but a public gathering of friends and colleagues is being planned.”
After beginning his career in Massachusetts, Chapman began working at KVIL in 1969, joining the staff as on-air talent, music director, and program director of the adult contemporary station. He would spend 31 years at KVIL, once broadcasting live while skydiving from an airplane.
In 2000, Chapman moved to “oldies” station KLUV, where he worked for another five years before retiring. He became a “permanent substitute” for Paul Harvey in 2007.
“This has something to do with age,” Chapman said when he announced his retirement on KLUV. “It’s an unavoidable thing… I love doing the morning show but my bones are beginning to tell me that hitting the ground running at 4:10 every morning is not going to be supported forever by whatever frame that I carry around with me and happy to have served me around for a lot of years but it looks as tho I really need to be taking care of it instead of it taking care of me.”
Throughout Monday, tributes to the longtime Dallas radio staple were pouring in on Twitter and other social media platforms.