Canadian broadcaster Murray Brown dies at 97


Murray BrownThe Globe and Mail posted an obit about the 50-year broadcaster who passed away 2/4. He was involved with CFPL radio and TV in London, ON; The Blackburn Group and CHUM, Ltd.

See the obit here:

“Murray T. Brown’s well lived life of almost 97 years ended with peace and grace on February 4, 2014. Murray, a proud resident of London, Ontario for the past 70 years is survived and deeply loved by his daughter, Dr. Judy Belle Brown, son Craig Brown, daughter-in-law Jennifer Brown and three grandchildren, Joshua, Christopher and Tory. Murray was pre-deceased by his loving wife, Bonnie Brown, who died in 2004.

Murray was a quintessential gentleman who treated everyone, without exception, with dignity, respect and kindness. His golden rule rewarded him with the gift of many friends with whom he shared wonderful and enduring experiences. He found richness in life’s simple pleasures like sitting by his pool with a scotch, a cigar and a good book, sharing dinners and conversation with his family and friends and, of course, playing golf with his many pals at the London Hunt and Country Club where he was an active member for over sixty- five years and the Club’s President in 1977. The London Hunt was a home away from home for Murray as many staff and members were like family to him.

Murray enjoyed a distinguished broadcasting career that spanned over fifty years. His rich baritone voice was first heard over the airwaves as an announcer at London Arena when it hosted many of the legendary big bands of the late 1930’s and 40’s. He formally entered broadcasting in 1945 when he was hired as an on-air announcer by Walter J. Blackburn at CFPL in London. He thrived on the excitement of broadcasting and was soon engaged in all aspects of the business. He became the General Manager of CFPL a few years later and the General Manager of CFPL-TV when it was awarded the first Canadian private television broadcasting license in 1953.

His involvement in the early days of Canadian private broadcasting provided him the privilege of working and playing hard with a group of Canada’s famed early broadcasting entrepreneurs, a spirited collection of talented, fun- loving broadcasters from coast to coast affectionately called the ‘Rat Pack’, that included his very dear friend, the late Alan Waters, the founder of CHUM Ltd.

He worked closely with the Blackburn family for over forty years to build one of Ontario’s most significant broadcasting conglomerates. He served as President of the Blackburn Group from 1968 to 1984 and remained intimately involved for many more years as a director of the company and, later, as the executor of the estate of the company’s then owner and one of his favourite people, the late Martha Blackburn. Murray was recognized by the broadcasting industry on many occasions but his proudest achievement was being inducted into the CAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1992.

Murray had an admirable sense of civic duty. He served as President of the Kiwanis Club of London, Vice- President of the London Chamber of Commerce, Campaign Chairman of the United Way of Greater London and a founding director of Hospice of London.

Murray’s kids would like to express their sincere gratitude to Dr. Diane Hawthorne and her staff for the care and love they extended to Bonnie and Murray over many years. The final six weeks of Murray’s life were thoughtfully and compassionately stewarded by Dr. Rind and all the staff on D6-400 at LHSC-Vic.

Murray will be missed by all who knew and loved him. In lieu of flowers, donations to Hospice of London and United Way London would be most appreciated.

Friends are invited to attend a reception to celebrate Murray’s life at the London Hunt and Country Club on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 1431 Oxford Street West in London between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.”

See the Globe and Mail obit here.