Unfortunately we have to start with sad news on a Thursday morning. Veteran 94 WIP radio host Big Daddy Graham passed away at the age of 68.
You knew him best as the station’s longtime overnight anchor, who carried listeners through third shift for something like two decades. He doubled as a comedian who performed stand up routines with Joe Conklin and also authored several books, one of which he co-wrote with Glen Macnow. He performed on stage as well in a variety of roles and really was a talented guy with a diverse skill set. I think that sometimes gets lost on people who only knew him as a WIP host.
Big Daddy had been dealing with some serious health issues going on two years now. It started back in the summer of 2019. when a blood thinner complication sent him to the Jefferson ICU with spinal bleeding. He had surgery but was paralyzed from the waist down, and recovered enough to begin rehab at Magee. Eventually he got himself into a wheelchair and was able to made sporadic public appearances, one of which was a launch event for the revised edition of The Great Book of Philadelphia Sports Lists.
He was later able to get down to a couple of Sixers games, and his daughter Ava, who works on the WIP morning show, shared some photos from May:
My heart is bursting at all the love for my dad. He isn’t so quick with the whole social media thing but he is SO thankful for your support, as is my entire family. I know he is going want to share this photo with his good buddy John Clark so might as well get ahead of it! 💙 pic.twitter.com/iUHudKxMui
— Ava Graham (@_avagraham) May 27, 2021
You’ll read various things about Ed this week, be it on the news or social media, and most people will say something about how he was very friendly and outgoing. All of that is 100% true. He was, indeed, an incredibly jovial person and always good for a laugh. Very easy going. Just a genuinely nice dude and a pleasure to be around. He was a unique guy with a unique array of talents.
RIP Big Daddy.