Chicago radio legend Wally Phillips dies

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times

The undisputed king of Chicago morning radio from the 1960’s to the 1980’s has passed away at the age of 82.

Wally Phillips began his legendary Chicago radio career at WGN in 1956 and became the station’s morning personality in 1965 and had the market’s top rated morning show from 1968 until he left for afternoons in 1986. He retired from WGN in 1998 after an incredible 42-year run at the station (however, he did come out of retirement to do a weekly talk show for WAIT-AM a year later.)

To prove how powerful he was in this market, he attracted an average of 1.5 million each day at his peak. In 1986 -the last full ratings book in morning drive, he had a 15 share!

More recently, Phillips had been living in Naples, Fla. and had been battling Alzheimer’s disease for the last four years.

Among his numerous accomplishments, Phillips was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 and the National Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1997.