Legendary Dallas radio personality Ron Chapman dies at 85

Legendary Dallas radio personality Ron Chapman dies at 85

Ron Chapman
RIP Ron. Courtesy photo

Ron Chapman, who was inducted to the Radio Hall of Fame three times, died on April 26; he was 85 years old.

He spent 31 years at KVIL-FM, joining in 1969  as a morning disc jockey, music director, and program director, when he brought adult contemporary to FM radio.

Chapman became famous for his sense of humor and outrageous stunts and giveaways such as broadcasting live while skydiving from a plane.

Listeners loved the infectious repartee he shared in between playing Top 40 hits with Suzie Humphreys, former co-host of WFAA Channel 8's morning news-turned-weather reporter.

According to NBC 5, one of his most famous stunts was when he encouraged listeners to send $20 to the station. Within three days, the station amassed $200,000, which was was donated to the Salvation Army, an organization Chapman supported.

According to his bio, his career in radio began in 1953, the day he graduated from high school in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

He became a disc jockey at station WHAV in Haverhill, then worked with Voice of the United Nations Command in Korea, before returning to New England, where he was on station WHNC in New Haven, Connecticut.

Chapman made his North Texas radio debut on KLIF under the on-air persona "Irving Harrigan," in a show with fellow personality Jack Woods, who went by the persona Charlie Brown on a show called Charlie and Harrigan Show, where they would play records and do skits.

In the late '60s, he also hosted an afternoon TV show on WFAA called Sump'n Else, similar to American Bandstand from a studio at NorthPark Center with go-go dancers and guests such as Hermans Hermits, Sonny & Cher, The Monkees, and Frank Zappa.

From 2000-2005, Chapman worked at oldies station KLUV, where he stayed until his retirement, although he subsequently served as a permanent substitute for broadcaster Paul Harvey.

According to a statement from friends, no service will be held, but a public gathering of friends and colleagues is planned.