HIGHLAND PARK, Michigan. – John O’Leary had a Detroit radio career that spanned nearly 40 years.
Since his WWWW debut he has landed at nearly every major station in Detroit.
“He was good enough to go from station to station, from CSX to W4. He has built a reputation in this market as a huge Detroit music lover and Detroit personality, ”said Jim McFarlin, former Detroit News TV and Radio columnist.
O’Leary was one of the first air aces at WABX.
“He was just a guy who was passionate about music,” said radio historian Art Vuolo. “He was on the bottom floor of what they called underground radio, progressive rock radio.”
O’Leary’s long tenure meant he knew just about everyone in the company, which is why the Detroit radio community is in shock over his death.
He was found stabbed to death in his Highland Park home on Sunday November 21. Highland Park Police have a suspect in custody and more details will be revealed during arraignment this week.
It is an unfathomable end for a man who was universally loved.
“He was very low-key,” Vuolo said. “He didn’t get in the way, he wasn’t what they call in the business – and trust me, I know a lot of people who are high maintenance. It didn’t require a lot of maintenance and that’s what made it so popular.
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