CHICAGO
09/09/2013 10:39 am ET | Updated Sep 10, 2013

Don Wade Dead: Chicago Radio Legend Dies At 72 After Yearlong Battle With Cancer

After 55 years in broadcasting, Chicago radio legend Don Wade died Friday in Florida.

WLS-AM, where Wade hosted "Don Wade and Roma" alongside his wife for almost three decades, announced the radio legend's death at the age of 72 in a Sunday posting with a statement from Wade's wife Roma:

Last Friday morning, my hero, my best friend, my soulmate left this mortal coil behind and entered the realm of spirit while wrapped in my loving arms. God blessed us with almost an entire year since Don's surgery to embrace life, love, family, and adventure, all while knowing that his time on this beautiful earth was drawing to a close. What a gift! What a joy to be entrusted with my magnificent man's care for that precious time. … I love him more than life itself.

Former WLS general manager Michael Damsky remembered Wade as a "lovable curmudgeon" who was dedicated to radio, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"I think that Don was probably the most influential local, perspective-based host in Chicago," Damsky told the Tribune.

Wade had battled brain cancer for almost a year prior to his death, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. His illness had caused the couple to step down from their hosting duties last December.

"Don Wade was a true giant of morning radio," Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper said.

A public service in Chicago will be announced later and a private, family service will also be held.

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