|Birth: ||Dec. 20, 1922|
|Death: ||May 31, 1996|
For years I listened to Dominic Quinn on WWDB in the mornings in Philadelphia, PA. Sometimes he hosted alone, and at other times with sidekick Frank X. Feller. Dom's wordplay and historical references were fun. There were plenty of times I didn't agree with him, but never was he boring.
Going through a dark period in my life back then, getting up in the morning was not always easy for me. The radio camaraderie of this gent made getting to work possible on some dark days. Because I heard the program while swilling coffee and getting dressed, I rarely called in, maybe 2 or 3 times over many more years. Still, one day he asked a question (I forget now what the question was) and I knew the answer. It wasn't a contest or anything, just a query I could answer, so since I had time, I called. As a "thank you", I received a membership card to the Millard Fillmore Society. Thanks, Dominic!
DOMINIC QUINN, 73, A TOP RADIO TALK HOST
Inquirer, Saturday, June 1, 1996
Dominic Quinn, 73, the passionate, opinionated, erudite radio host who was the king of the talk show hill on WWDB -FM in the early 1980s, died yesterday morning of a massive heart attack while working at his computer at home in Wayne.
Mr. Quinn was something of an enigma. He was a philosophy major from Loyola University who loved learning, long words and opera. Yet Mr. Quinn made his living in the world where opinion usually counted more than knowledge.
"He was a bright light among dim bulbs," said Pat Polillo, former KWY-TV vice president and general manager who shared with Mr. Quinn a love of great books. Polillo once wanted to put Mr. Quinn on television to add depth to editorial content.
"He was a very energetic and very enthusiastic human being," said Dan Sullivan, station manager at WWDB -FM (96.5), where Mr. Quinn hosted morning talk shows on Saturday and Sunday. "He had a great celebration of life."
"He was feisty," Sullivan said. "His command of the English language was exceptional. He loved words and loved to use them, and he challenged people to use correct grammar. He was passionate about politics and religion."
Inquirer columnist Edgar Williams enjoyed teasing Mr. Quinn and his foot-long words and passion for accuracy, referring to him in The Scene as the "sesquepedelian scholiast" or WWDB's "pedant in residence."
He also noted that Mr. Quinn's knowledge was equaled by his confidence: "Mr. Quinn may occasionally be wrong, but he certainly is never in doubt," Williams once wrote.
Mr. Quinn sought passion in his listeners, too. In a memo to moderators at WWDB, he said they should think of themselves as glider pilots, "searching endlessly for thermal updrafts of public passion."
About 15 years ago, Mr. Quinn was the hottest host on talk radio, with about 250,000 listeners tuning in each week to his 5:30-to-9 a.m. time slot.
Each day, he rose early to scan several newspapers for issues - government incompetence, taxes, social mores - for the conservative stick to stir listener wrath.
He was indignant, or sarcastic, or angry. He mocked the station's advertisers and poked fun at other moderators. He quoted the philosophers and posed obscure riddles to perk up slow airtime.
Mr. Quinn's views, Sullivan said, were "definitely conservative. He was a veteran of World War II and identified very much with the American way of life, and upheld the things he fought for and believed very much in."
Mr. Quinn, who grew up in Chicago, was a radio operator on a C-46 cargo plane. He flew 150 missions over the Himalayas, taking supplies to China during World War II. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
After graduating from Loyola, he entered law school, but was forced to give it up because of a recurrence of malaria, which he had picked up during the war.
He landed his first radio job through an audition in Battle Creek, Mich., then spent 21 years as a programmer and broadcaster in Boston, New York and Pittsburgh before coming to WCAU in Philadelphia.
His afternoon talk program soon was the most-listened-to show in its time slot. But it was canceled and he was fired. He didn't return to radio until 1977, when he went on air at WWDB .
In addition to his talk show duties, Mr. Quinn served at times as news director and program director at WWDB. In the late 1980s, he left the station to work again at WCAU. A few months later, WCAU went off the air for good. In 1991, he returned to WWDB.
He is is survived by his wife, Patricia Conley Quinn; daughters Mimi Quinn, Katheleen Zimmerman and Sheila Q. Bonham; four granddaughters; and a brother.
A viewing will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at William C. McConaghy Ltd., 328 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore. A Funeral Mass has been tentatively set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Katharine of Siena Church at Wayne, Lancaster and South Aberdeen Avenues in Wayne. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken.
Dominic Quinn, 73, A Talk-Show Host And Fan of Opera
Wednesday, June 5, 1996
Dominic Quinn, a talk-show host in Philadelphia who cherished opera, the printed word and, very pointedly, the proper use of the English language, died on Friday at his home in Wayne, Pa. He was 73.
The cause was a heart attack, his family said.
Mr. Quinn, who was previously associated with broadcasters in Chicago, joined WWDB-FM talk radio in 1977 as the host of its drive-time program on weekday mornings. He took over as weekend morning host in 1991.
His broadcasting career began in 1948 in Battle Creek and Flint, Mich., where he worked until he joined WIND in Chicago as a disk jockey in 1953. In the 1960's, he held programming positions at WINS in New York and CBS Radio in Boston and New York before he became a talk-show host on WMCA in New York in 1969.
He worked afternoons at WCAU-AM Philadelphia for several years before making his debut on WWDB in 1977. On his show, he kept an open microphone for listeners to call in, gave his opinions about anything that came to mind and sternly upheld his reputation as a stickler for proper American-English usage and pronunciation. In his heyday in the 1980's, some quarter-million listeners tuned in to his program every week.
He was born in Chicago, and studied philosophy at Loyola University. He served as a radio operator for the Army Air Forces in the China-Burma-India theater in World War II, flying 150 cargo missions over the Himalayas and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia Conley Quinn; three daughters, Marie G. Quinn of Malvern, Pa., Kathleen Q. Zimmerman of Wilton, Conn., and Sheila Q. Bonham of Reston, Va.; a brother, Francis H. Jr. of Rockford, Ill., and four granddaughters.
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Mar 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34797178