John O'Connor/Brad Choat

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame member Richard J. Miller has died at the age of 81.

Miller moved to St. Louis from Atlanta in 1958 and purchased KXLW, along with its rhythm and blues and gospel format.
He added progressive rock station KADI in 1969.

KMOX Route 66 oldies show host Johnny Rabbitt worked for Miller as a vice president of programming in the 1970s. He says Miller was the first to have a station broadcast oldies on Sunday nights, “You talk about cutting-edge. He was always ahead of other people. He was a very shrewd, very sharp operator who also owned stations in Kansas City and Springfield, Massachusetts.”

Former St. Louis radio and television broadcaster Gentry Trotter began his career as a 17-year-old radio talk show host on Saturday afternoons on one of Miller’s stations, “He was uninhibited in his appreciation of all types of people, all types of backgrounds, all types of religions, all types of sexuality. Richard Miller didn’t care anything about your personal life. He cared about you the person. I would call him the ‘evangelist for all mankind.’ If he believed in you, you believed in yourself. Part of my makeup all those years in the business was because of the spirit of Richard, a dynamic cheerleader.”

Miller sold his radio properties in the 1990s and founded Truman Bank.

Trotter says Miller’s family told him his longtime friend died of an apparent heart attack.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.


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