"Father of St. Louis Sports Talk Radio" Richard Gray dies

The former KMOX Sales Manager and public servant loved sports

Brad Choat
April 27, 2019 - 1:59 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - He's known as the "Father of Sports Talk Radio" in St. Louis. Family members say businessman and public servant Richard Gray died in Texas.

The former KMOX Radio sales manager left Robert Hyland's staff to form an all-sports station in 1991.

Gray reminisced about it with our Mike Claiborne in the recent past, "Every host was allowed to share their ideas on the direction that we were going to go as a station. If it seemed to make sense, we went in those directions. I think that's what made it so special and so much fun."

The U.S Navy veteran went on to lead the Gateway Sports Foundation and was a public safety director for Mayor Francis Slay.

Slay had this reaction Friday night after hearing about Gray's death, "He was funny. He was warm, and he cared. He cared about the city and the people of St. Louis. It came out in him in so many ways. He will be deeply missed." 

Slay also recalled Gray being a part of American history while serving in the Navy, "He had his Naval uniform on and was part of the honor guard for President Nixon when he came off the helicopter on August 8th, 1974. That was Richard Nixon's farewell. It is a famous picture." 

In addition, Gray founded the St. Louis Eagles amateur basketball team, which has produced numerous NBA players and helped young men get into many types of careers.

KMOX's Mike Claiborne says Gray was ambitious, a hard worker, and had a special place in his heart for youth, "Rich Gray has his fingerprints on a lot of kids. I think the thing he'd be most proud of is that a lot of his kids went on to get degrees and have become successful in their own forms of business, as well. I'm going to miss him."

Funeral arrangements are pending.