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Legendary radio icon Pat O'Day facing brain surgery

Northwest radio icon Pat O'Day faces brain surgery on Thursday. (Image courtesy Facebook)

"Never underestimate Pat O'Day," is the message from the Northwest radio legend's family as he was scheduled to head into brain surgery on Thursday.

Reports say O'Day's surgery is now scheduled for Friday.

O'Day's family feared the worst on Monday when he lost memory and use of his fingers. He took a ferry from his San Juan island home to the emergency room in Anacortes.

Doctors discovered a benign tumor was pressing the right frontal lobe of his brain against the skull.

Medication has already improved 77-year-old O'Day's condition, and surgeons believe the tumor is easily removable.

What hasn't Pat O'day done in his life? In the 1950's and 60's, the man born as Paul Berg ruled Seattle's radio airwaves. The KJR afternoon disc jockey once got a 42 share of listeners. Later he ran that station and owned KYYX.

O'Day promoted popular teen dances at the Spanish Castle Ballroom, booking acts like the Wailers and Jimi Hendrix. He tells remarkable behind-the-scenes stories about concerts with Tony Orlando, Wayne Newton, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Beach Boys.

O'Day entertains hundreds-of-thousands of hydroplane fans with his passionate play-by-play at Seafair. It was my privilege to share the microphone with him the last three years he called those thunderboat races on radio.

Nowadays, O'Day owns the John L. Scott Real Estate franchise on San Juan Island.

He's also raised thousands of dollars for community charities and organizations through his annual celebrity golf tournament.

About the Author


Sports anchor, news reporter, emcee, and a man of many voices, Bill Swartz has been a jack-of-all trades during his career, especially at KIRO Radio and 710 ESPN Seattle since 2002.

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