Radio legend Herb Kent “The Cool Gent” dies at 88

Precise and Herb Kent “The Cool Gent”

The iconic radio legend Herb Kent passed away in Chicago at the age of 88. Kent’s leendary career has spanned over four decades and his voice has become synonymous with Sunday afternoons in Chicago radio. Herb Kent helped launch the careers of such R&B artists as The Temptations, Minnie Riperton, Curtis Mayfield, and Smokey Robinson. During the turbulent ‘60s, Herb was a prominent voice of Civil Rights era using his broadcast platform. In 1995, Herb was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. His radio home V103 released a statement concerning his passing.

“Herb Kent passed away on Saturday evening. No words can express our great sense of loss. Herb was an iconic talent, who for nearly 70 years entertained millions of listeners in Chicagoland and around the world. His passion for radio and work ethic was second-to-none as Herb worked to the very end, by hosting what unexpectedly was his final V103 broadcast on Saturday morning.

Herb leaves a legacy of thousands of entertainers he helped boost, community causes he impacted, and as a former instructor at Chicago State University, sharing his encyclopedic knowledge with hundreds of students.

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.”

We spoke with radio personality Mike Love of Soul 106.3 in Chicago about what Herb Kent means to Black radio and radio in general.

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Mike Love, Herb Kent, George Daniels and Steve Silk Hurley – Photo courtesy of Mike Love

“Losing Herb Kent for us old school radio jocks and fans of old school radio is like losing your favorite artist…Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Prince. He’s absolutely irreplaceble. He was an iconic personality from a time when Black radio was everything to black people. His physical presence will be missed but his influence will live forever. He said.

-Precise

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