Legendary Chicago area personality Richard ‘Dick’ Biondi died on Monday, June 26 at the age of 90.
Biondi’s passing was announced this evening by the station he was most associated with in his career, Cumulus’ “Big 89” WLS Chicago. The Endicott NY native began his career in upstate New York at WINR Binghamton and WCBA Corning before spending time in the 1950s at stations including KVOB Bastrop LA, KSYL Alexandria LA, WHOT Youngstown OH, and WKBW and WEBR Buffalo NY.
Biondi would join WLS in 1960 as its night host at a time when the station could be heard nearly coast-to-coast. He would move to KRLA Los Angeles in 1963 shortly after being the first US personality to play the Beatles on the air. After briefly hosting a syndicated show, Biondi would return to Chicago in 1967 on 1000 WCFL and then 670 WMAQ. He would then depart the city in 1972 spending time at WBZ Boston, WSAI Cincinnati, and a decade at WNMB North Myrtle Beach SC where he launched a syndicated Oldies show.
After a brief stint at WBBM-FM Chicago, Biondi would join Oldies 104.3 WJMK in 1984 and remain until its format change to “Jack-FM” in 2005. He would then join 94.7 WLS-FM for a late night show in 2006 before moving to weekends in 2015 until his retirement in 2017 due to illness.
Biondi was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1998 and is also a member of the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame and part of the radio exhibit of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.