“Voice of the Illini” Larry Stewart dead at 87


Former WDWS-AM Champaign, IL General Manager Larry Stewart has died in California at age 87. Stewart, who was also the radio “Voice of the Illini,” the local University of Illinois sports teams, had retired in 1980.

According to the Champaign News-Gazette, whose parent company has owned WDWS since it signed on in 1937, Stewart joined the station in 1941. He’d graduated from the University of Illinois after growing up in Rochester, NY.

As play-by-play announcer for the Illini, Stewart became on of the most recognizable voices in the state.

“There was only one Larry Stewart. He was a memorable part of my growing up. I feel a loss today,” said one fan in a posting on the News-Gazette’s IllinHQ.com sports website.