"I represent the spirit of free enterprise. I'm a no-holds-barred capitalist," said Lee Rodgers in his characteristically brash, up front style. Known as the "open-line king" during the 10 years he was a host on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and moved to KSFO 560, where he hosted a weekday morning show with Melanie Morgan until 2010.
A passionate believer in the American Dream, Rodgers said, "It's almost impossible for anybody to begin life in lower circumstances than I did (admittedly without racial handicap). I figure that if you observe the wisdom in the words 'deferred gratification,' and are willing to work your butt off, this society, with all its faults, offers you the opportunity to succeed. That's the starting point."
Rodgers was always been primed to succeed. He was born and raised in poverty near Memphis, Tennessee, lost part of a leg at age 13 working in timber industry and then spent years living in different parts of the United States. A self-described part-time coach, referee, catalyst and provocateur, he began his broadcasting career at WIND in 1963 as a disc jockey and sportscaster, followed by stints with radio stations in ST. Louis, Miami and Chicago.
After 10 years with KGO, Rodgers went north to KIRO radio in Seattle. One year later, he returned to the Bay Area where "the most interesting and spirited dialogue in talk radio takes place." He believed, "Even with good guests, it's the simulation of the callers that makes the show."
He spent over 25 years broadcasting from San Francisco and continued making his voice heard even off the air through his blog at radiorodgers.com. His last blog entry was on January 28, 2013, two days before his death.
Certainly Rodgers show was spirited. With lines like "A conservative is a liberal who got mugged last night," and "it's my mission in my life to educate the heathen," he took pot shots of government, liberalism and all aspects of American culture while championing rampant free enterprise. No one was safe from critical review as long as Lee Rodgers was on KSFO!
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Lee’s favorite charity:
The Animal League of Green Valley
|"...and now, if you'll excuse me..."