Known to listeners every Saturday and Sunday as “The Cool Gent”, Herb Kent a pioneer and one Chicago’s earliest African American disc jockeys, has died at age 88 after 70 years in the radio industry.
V103 FM Chicago where Kent worked announced earlier today that Kent died Saturday evening. They didn’t provide any other details, but did say he hosted his final broadcast Saturday morning.
“We are so thankful for the privilege of working alongside such an historic figure as Herb Kent for the past 27 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Herb's family, friends, and loved ones,” said iHeartMedia Chicago region president Matt Scarano in a statement.
Scarano said, “His passion for radio and work ethic was second-to-none.”
Born and raised in Chicago, Kent spent 70 years as a radio personality working at WVON, WJJD and V103, where he was still working and hosted his final show.
Kent also was very prominent with the Civil Rights movement hosting a along Stevie Wonder for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's last visit to Chicago.
Kent was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting's Radio Hall of Fame in 1995, and also has a street named in his honor, "Herb Kent Drive," in city's Bronzeville neighborhood in which he’s known as the “King of Bronzeville”