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Chicago DJ and WLS-AM "Big 89" radio legend Larry Lujack has died at the age of 73 in New Mexico.
His wife, Jude Lujack, told the Chicago Tribune that Lujack died on Wednesday of esophageal cancer after three days of hospice care.
Lujack is often considered the first "shock jock" that allowed such popular radio hosts as Howard Stern and Bruce DuMont to follow in his footsteps. He ruled the airwaves in Chicago from the 1960s to 1987, where he is remembered for a deep voice and exuberant personality. He retired after his contract was bought out in 1987 after declining ratings.
Jude said, "He was passionate ... about everything that he did, whether it was helping neighbors or taking care of charities." She added, "We're really hurting right now."
According to The Huffington Post, WLS Radio Senior Vice President of Corporate/Programming Jan Jefferies said, "Larry defined WLS. Bigger than life and legendary."
In 2004, Lujack was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. He is survived by two children, grandchildren and Jude.