CHICAGO, IL – One of Chicago’s earliest African-American disc jockeys, Herb “The Cool Gent” Kent, has died at the age of 88 after a seven-decade career.
In a statement released by iHeartMedia’s V103 FM Chicago Sunday, says that Kent died Saturday evening . The company didn’t provide many details in the statement but said he hosted his final broadcast on Saturday morning.
“We are so thankful for the privilege of working alongside such a historic figure as Herb Kent for the past 27 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Herb’s family, friends, and loved one,” said iHeartMedia Chicago region president Matt Scarano in a statement.
Kent was born and raised in Chicago and her career in radio spanned 70 years, working at WVON, WYYD, and V103, where he was still working and hosted a show Saturday Morning.
In addition to his radio work, Kent was active in the Civil Rights movement. He hosted a program with Stevie Wonder for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s last visit to Chicago. Kent also was a former instructor at Chicago State University.
In 1995, Kent was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting’s Radio Hall of Fame and he also has a street named in his honor, “Herb Kent Drive,” in city’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Back in February, he also was honored as a recipient of Chicago Defender Men of Excellence.
“Herb Kent is a TRUE historic legend to the music industry, disc jockey, and Chicago. This is definitely a tremendous loss for us and the radio will not be the same without Herb Kent on the air jamming the mixed as he did for 27 years of his career. The HBCU Campaign Fund organization is saddened to hear about the death of Kent and we extend our deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers to his family and friends.” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., President and Founder of HBCU Campaign Fund.
According to V103, there is no comment from the family at this time. Memorial arrangement are pending.