Dan Tapson has been out of radio for a long time, but then he was able to “retire” at age 45 back in 1984 after serving as General Manager of the original Infinity Broadcasting station, KOME-FM San Jose. Tapson died Wednesday of cancer at age 71.
Writing earlier this month in the Oakland Tribune, columnist Dave Newhouse recounted the bravery with which his friend from high school was fighting his end of life battle.
“I’m not an egotistical person. The most proud thing is the legacy I’ve left with family and friends,” Tapson said when Newhouse asked him about his proudest achievement.
But Tapson did speak with pride about his years in broadcasting, growing KNEW-FM Oakland-San Francisco as Sales Manager, making a success of KOME in the San Jose market then seen as the poor step-sister to San Francisco and becoming the first person from outside San Francisco to serve as President of the Northern California Broadcasters Association.
“Last, but not least, Infinity Broadcasting became in 10 years the largest radio-only company in the United States. We owned the most stations and generated the most revenue,” the long-retired broadcaster proclaimed.
According to his old friend, Tapson retired at 45 in 1984 and spent his remaining years traveling with his wife, Gloria, and their daughter, Debbie (Pat) Ellisen, who survive him along with two grandchildren.
Dan Tapson’s life will be celebrated at a future private affair for family and friends. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be sent in his name to the American Cancer Society, Newhouse wrote in the obituary for his old friend.