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Radio Legend, 'The Big Broadcast' Host Ed Walker Dies At Age 83

Ed Walker in the WAMU 88.5 studio in 1994.
Anthony Washington
Ed Walker in the WAMU 88.5 studio in 1994.

Ed Walker, longtime host of The Big Broadcast on WAMU 88.5, passed away early this morning at the age of 83.

Ed listened to his radio finale last night, surrounded by his family. He passed away just a few hours later.

"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."

Ed was on the air in Washington for six decades. As the first blind student accepted by American University, he went on to help found WAMU-AM in 1951, and helped secure the 4,000 watt transmitter from WGBH in Boston that launched WAMU-FM on October 23, 1961.

In the '50s and '60s, he and Willard Scott were The Joy Boys — a popular drive-time radio show. Ed took over as host of The Big Broadcast in 1990.

After a recent cancer diagnosis, Ed hosted one more Big Broadcast — taped in his hospital room and aired last night.

The Big Broadcast will continue on Sunday nights with interim host Rob Bamberger.

We encourage listeners to share their thoughts and remembrances of Ed Walker in the comment section below or on Twitter using the hashtag #BigBroadcast.

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