Veteran talk radio host and voice on WTMJ Jim Bohannon has died at age 78, just weeks after retiring from his Westwood One syndicated show.
He was born January 7, 1944 in Corvallis, OR. Jim graduated from Lebanon High School in 1962. He attended Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, before joining the military. His service in the U.S. Army Security Agency with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade included a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967-68. Jim’s radio career began in high school working at KLWT, and in college at KICK, and KWTO.
After his return stateside, Jim was stationed at Vint Hill Farms Station, VA, and worked at radio stations WGAY, WTOP, and WRC in the Washington, DC market. He joined the Mutual Network in 1983, which later became Westwood One Radio. He began anchoring America in the Morning news magazine, hosting the Saturday nigh Jim Bohannon Show, and filling in on the Larry King Show.
In 1993, Larry King moved to CNN, and the radio show became the Jim Bohannon Show, which Jim hosted until his death. Jim retired in October from the show after having several health problems over the summer. His distinctive voice, wit and wisdom was aired on some 500 radio stations nationwide.
Jim has been honored to be the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his talent and contributions to the radio industry. This includes his induction into the National Broadcasting Hall of Fame by the National Association of Broadcasters, the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, the National Radio Hall of Fame of the Museum of Broadcast Communication, and the Society of Professional Journalists, DC Chapter Hall of Fame. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Talkers Magazine, and the First Amendment Award from the Radio and Television Digital News Foundation. He received the Gold Award from the International Radio Festival of New York for his documentary, “Pain and Pride- Remembering Vietnam,” and was a 2003 inductee to the Wall of Honor in his hometown of Lebanon, MO. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Jim is survived by his wife, Annabelle Bohannon, of Westminster, SC, and daughter, Elizabeth Smith of Janesville, WI. NewsRadio WTMJ is sad to hear of the loss of Jim, for which many members of WTMJ and Good Karma Brands hold him in high regard.