Jan 30, 2020
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Harry Harrison, ‘Good Guy’ Radio D.J., Is Dead at 89

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Harry Harrison Jr. was born on Sept. 20, 1930, in Chicago to Harry Sr. and Mary (McKenna) Harrison.

In addition to his daughter, Patti, he is survived by his son, Patrick. His wife, Patricia (Kelly) Harrison, died in 2003. Two other children, Brian Joseph and Michael, died in 1996 and 2017, respectively.

Harry attended a seminary, intending to become a priest. But he decided to make broadcasting his career after spending nearly a year as a teenager glued to the radio while bedridden with rheumatic fever.

Once he recovered, he job-hunted from station to station until he landed a summer intern stint at WCFL in Chicago. He remained there eight months. In 1954, he joined WPEO in Peoria, where he became program director, hosted a show in which he began his morning routine, and transformed the station into the top rated in its market.

Word of Mr. Harrison’s success spread to WMCA, the David going up against the WABC Goliath, and the station lured him to New York, adding him to a lineup of self-styled Good Guys that included Dan Daniel and Jack Spector.

Recruited to WABC by the pioneering program director Rick Sklar, he transplanted his show there in 1968, filling the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. slot. His fellow broadcasters included Johnny Donovan, Charlie Greer, Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, Bruce Morrow and Scott Muni. Mr. Harrison left in 1979 after a management change.

After several months, he joined WCBS, where he remained, playing oldies, until 2003. He then hosted a weekend program featuring music by the Beatles until he retired in 2005.

On April 25, 1997, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani proclaimed “Harry Harrison Day” in his honor. In November, Mr. Harrison was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

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