New York radio legend Barry Farber, 90, never ever retired

by WorldTribune Staff, May 8, 2020

Barry Farber, one of the true pioneers of talk radio, passed away on May 6. He was 90.

Barry Farber ‘blazed the trail for all of us today in talk radio,’ Sean Hannity said.

Farber, a talk radio inspiration for New York City conservatives since his first New York gig in 1960, hosted “The Barry Farber Show” from right up until the end.

Before being inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2014, Farber commented: “I would rather burn out than rust out. I am one of those who will not retire.”

Farber began in radio in 1960 on WINS 1010 in New York City, later moving to WOR AM 710 until 1977, when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York City. His show later went national on the ABC Radio Network. Most recently, Farber had been hosting a live daily show five nights a week on CRN Digital Talk.

As Sean Hannity said of Farber: “He blazed the trail for all of us today in talk radio.”

Farber, who hailed from a Jewish family in Greensboro, North Carolina, “became an articulate spokesman for the conservatives ideas promulgated by the likes of Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley Jr.,” noted.

In the 1970s, Farber became a critic of Soviet expansionism, along with Détente critics like the late Lev Navrozov a columnist for the then New York City Tribune, and later

Farber was designated by Talkers Magazine in 2002 as one of the Top 10 radio hosts of all time.

“He was one of the founding fathers of talk radio whose influential career spanned both the modern and pre-modern eras of the format,” Talkers magazine publisher Michael Harrison said.

“He described his longevity in the business as ‘being big in the old days and old in the big days.’ He was among the finest public speakers of his time and a true wordsmith who served as an inspiration for generations of broadcasters who strived to be artists as well as communicators,” Harrison said.

Farber also spoke or studied more than 25 languages – including Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Swedish and Yiddish, Bulgarian and Korean. He also wrote a book titled “How to Learn Any Language.” In it, he wrote that when he was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1952, he was “tested and qualified for work in fourteen different languages.”

Author and managing editor David Kupelian noted:

“Barry Farber was a friend, colleague and hero. He was a longtime weekly columnist for WND. Moreover, having had the opportunity to be a guest on his show dozens of times over the years, I can honestly say Barry Farber was my favorite talk show host in the whole world to be interviewed by, and I told him so more than once. The best talk hosts have the mysterious ability to draw the very best out of their guests, and that was Barry. He was unfailingly warm, gracious, knowledgeable, fresh, and effusively but genuinely enthusiastic about and interested in his guests. I am also grateful to have had the chance to talk to Barry just a day before he died. I called him up to wish him well on Tuesday – it was his 90th birthday. God rest your soul, Barry.”

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