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Legendary Philadelphia broadcaster and civic activist, E. Steven Collins, dies at 58

(September 9, 2013) Legendary Philadelphia radio broadcaster, E. Steven Collins, died suddenly at the age of 58 of a heart attack Sunday evening. For more than thirty years, Collins was nationally recognized as one of the most experienced and dedicated figures in urban radio.

In additional to his role as Radio One Inc.'s Director of Urban Marketing and External Relations for WRND, Collins hosted a weekly show, "Philly Speaks" on Old School 100.3, and regularly featured a distinguished panel of local and national guests each Sunday.

Radio One Chair Cathy Hughes said in a statement, "Collins was a valued member of the Radio One Family for over a decade, and brought together the corporate, civic, clergy and overall community for a positive good. I personally recruited E. and firmly believe that it was one of the wisest hires of an exemplary executive and broadcaster."

"Anytime you wanted him to do anything, E. Steven Collins was right there. He just gave his all," said Philadelphia Mayor and long time friend, Michael Nutter. "This is just a tremendous loss."

Collins' unique insight and perspective made him a frequent guest on a variety of local and nation media. During 08 Presidential election period Collins appeared numerous times on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews; Mid days and MSNBC Weekends. He also appeared on CNN programs and PBS News Hour.

A journalist by training, Collins concentrated on domestic policy and political issues. As a political analyst, Collins addressed topics as varied as the political participation and voting trends of African-Americans, morality in politics and national security issues, advancing democracy, and urban crime and the overarching impact of the Barack Obama candidacy/ Presidency.

"E is such a mentor to people across the city, to journalists in particular," said Deirdre Childress Hopkins, a past vice president-print for the National Association of Black Journalists. "This is a loss to anybody who was in listening distance of his voice."

Collins worked with the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists to create and develop a televised Mayoral Debate live from the campus of Drexel University. The Comcast Cable telecast earned the team an Emmy award, the highest honor for a televised presentation in the one-time public affairs special program category.

He had an impressive history as one of Philadelphia's strongest civic voices. He has served as an executive board member of the Urban League of Philadelphia and board member: Philadelphia's Convention & Visitors Bureau, Multicultural Affairs Congress, Ivy Legacy Foundation and Marian Anderson Awards Association. Collins also chairs the Mayor's Commission on Literacy.

Collins is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two sons, Rashid and Langston.


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