Chicago’s Top 40 disc jockey Dick Biondi dead at 90, Cause of death & Obituary


 Chicago's Top 40 disc jockey Dick Biondi Cause of death

Dick Biondi, a renowned Chicago DJ, passed away at age 90. Biondi, a role model to many of the persons at Real Oldies Music Radio, reportedly passed away on Monday, June 26, 2023.

He is a broadcasting legend who will live on in the hearts of many. His unique voice and radio persona will be remembered and studied, and his presence will be missed.

Read on to learn more information about his passing and Dick Biondi cause of death.

Legendary disc jockey Dick Biondi dead at 90

Dick Biondi, a legendary rock DJ, died at age 90. Richard “Dick” Biondi, a renowned Chicago rock disc jockey and personality, passed away early this week, according to a Saturday night Facebook post from WLS-AM 890. 

What happened to him?

The radio station reported that Biondi “died peacefully at home on Monday, June 26.” The Facebook post referred to him as Maribeth’s loving husband, Geri’s treasured brother, Ron and Larry’s (Kathleen) lovely brother-in-law, a special uncle, and many people’s cousins. Read the whole statement released by WLS-AM 890 below.

Richard Orlando Biondi, 90, of Chicago, died peacefully at home on Monday, June 26th. Dick was born September 13, 1932, in Endicott, New York, to Mike and Rose Biondi.

Loving husband of Maribeth, cherished brother of Geri, dear brother-in-law of Ron and Larry (Kathleen), special uncle, and cousin of many.

He spent most of his 67-year career entertaining the greatest radio audience in the greatest city in the world, Chicago! Heard on WLS, WCFL, WMAQ, WBBM and WJMK, his Radio and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voice will remain as part of the soundtrack of our lives. A private family interment has been held.

Dave Plier, the board chair of the Chicago-based Museum of Broadcast Communications, released the following statement on Biondi’s passing, calling him a “true radio legend.”

“We lost a true radio legend. Radio Hall of Fame inductee Dick Biondi was one of the nation’s most recognizable disc jockeys with an amazing career that spanned nearly six decades.

He was the first to make an impact on rock radio in Chicago and around the country via WLS radio’s 50,000-watt signal. Biondi is credited as the first U.S. disc jockey to play the Beatles, on Chicago’s WLS 890 AM in February of 1963.

He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1998. He was a great friend and longtime supporter of the Museum of Broadcast Communications and will be missed by radio listeners across the country.”

Dick Biondi cause of death

We regret to announce the passing news of Dick Biondi, a legendary DJ. Since he was a young child, he has worked numerous jobs doing what he has always enjoyed and is well-known around the country.

He is a deeply pious man who sacrificed his life for all of his friends and admirers. One of the original WKBW FutureSonic Radio superstars of 1958.

Throughout his 67-year career, broadcasting legend Dick Biondi, who defined Top 40 radio for a generation and spanned the history of rock ‘n’ roll in America, never lost his youthful excitement for the music, his upbeat on-air style, or his unending love for his audience.

It has been confirmed by his family’s statement that Dick passed away peacefully at home on June 26. Other than that, neither his family members nor web media have provided any information regarding the cause of his passing.

We’ll update this article as soon as additional information becomes available. As soon as new details become available, we’ll update this article.

Moreover, the family’s privacy must be respected even though attempts are being made to compile pertinent information and promptly deliver the most recent updates.

The Voice That Rocked America: The Dick Biondi Story

Rose and Michael Biondi, a housewife and a firefighter, welcomed Richard Orlando Biondi into the world in Endicott, New York, in 1932. 

Dick describes himself as a child who was always yakking growing up in the Italian neighborhood known as The Nob. Being a devoted Catholic, he wanted to become a priest.

However, everything changed when 8-year-old Dick found a nearby radio station. He kept coming back because he was so fascinated.

Up until the day he was requested to read an advertisement on the air and welcomed into the studio. His family said, “We heard you on the radio!” when he got home. At that point, Dick’s desire to work as a radio announcer was born.

In the deep South in 1950, Biondi started his career playing “race” recordings, and shortly thereafter he found rockin’ roll.

He first presented Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bobby Darin, and Paul Anka at his record hops and proceeded to further the careers of many musicians.

Due to his Wild I-Tralian persona and “sticking it to the boss” routine, Biondi developed a reputation as a deejay who was against the establishment in Buffalo.

At WLS-AM in Chicago, Dick’s goals were finally realized in 1961 and 1962 when his enormously successful radio program made him the country’s top disc jockey.

Dick Biondi doing a 94.7 WLS-FM live remote.

“First American DJ to play a Beatles single”

Biondi was the first American DJ to play a Beatles single in February of 1963. He opened concerts by the Rolling Stones and the Beatles in Los Angeles.

Throughout his six-decade career, Dick is proud to have been fired 25 times, mostly as a result of his volatile temper and run-ins with management.

Nevertheless, Biondi remained devoted to music and radio throughout the years, forging enduring relationships with his listeners in the process.

Dick Biondi (pictured in 1998) commanded an unheard-of 60 percent share of all listeners during his WLS 890-AM days from 1960 to 1963. Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Biondi, a self-professed Italian-American who used his real name throughout his career, provided distinctive entertainment to radio listeners for many years. Dick was entertaining, humorous, and enjoyed making jokes, but when it came to children, he had a great heart.

Dick Biondi spread holiday cheer to thousands of underprivileged kids during his yearly toy drive. Biondi used his talents to encourage and support others and was always happy to assist. 

Tributes from all over the broadcast industry are pouring in.

Social media is awash with condolences and tributes to Dick and his family during these difficult times. 

Ramblin Ray wrote,

I miss @robert.feder I’m just learning that the great Dick Biondi has passed. If you know Chicago radio you know him. I first met him when I was an intern with Herb Kent(the cool Gent) I had a chance to get to know him when he was at Oldies 104.3 a sister station to US99. He was a crazy Italian (his words) he’s everything that made radio great. Decades of Chicagoans were privy to his talent. God bless Dick and his family!

Bob Worthington wrote,

Very sad news DICK BIONDI has passed away at the age of 90. I had the honor of working with Dick for over 10 yrs at 94.7 WLS.RIP my friend

Robert Washburn wrote,

A Significant part of my High School years has died. A huge part of the late 1960s Rock Radio battles in Chicago between WLS and WCFL. Dick Biondi, the longtime Chicago radio host who rose in prominence to become one of America’s most recognizable disc jockeys, died earlier this week, according to a longtime family friend.

Steve Bridges said,

As I think about Dick Biondi’s passing tonight, I think about those days as a kid wanting so bad to be on the radio. Listening to him make magic across the country every night and the magic of AM radio. I know that KCJJ is now available across the country on the internet..but it’s a real thrill for me when we get calls from different states listening to us on their radios. I feel blessed to have been inspired by him and those distant late-night signals.

Dick Biondi Obituary

Dick Biondi

Saying goodbye is often difficult, and it can be hard to find the words to express how you feel about a loved one who has passed.

I write this obituary with a heavy heart to inform you of the demise of Dick Biondi, a true radio legend. We are sorry to announce the demise news of a Chicago’s Top 40 disc jockey and good soul here.

Dick Biondi was such a Sweet, very professional, and gifted person who will be fondly remembered by so many. You will be missed but never forgotten. He was surrounded by loved ones who will continue to honor his legacy by living their lives to the fullest.

He spent the majority of his 67-year career in Chicago, the greatest city in the world, entertaining the biggest radio audience! His voice, a member of the Radio and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, may be heard on WLS, WCFL, WMAQ, WBBM, and WJMK. He is survived by his wife Maribeth, and sister Geraldine Wallace. A private family interment has been held.

We send our deepest condolences to Dick Biondi’s family members, friends, and all loved ones. Please feel free to pay respects to Dick Biondi by leaving a note below or by sharing your memories of him.

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