Don Cannon, Philadelphia Radio Legend, Has Passed

Even Rocky woke up to "The Dean of Philadelphia Radio."

Don Cannon, photo via Broadcast Pioneers

Don Cannon, photo via Broadcast Pioneers

A Philadelphia radio legend, Don Cannon, has passed away.

Cannon was known as “The Dean of Philadelphia Radio.” He was a voice on morning radio in Philadelphia from 1969 until he retired in 2004. The “Cannon in the Morning” show started on WIBG and has been heard on WIP, WFIL, WIFI, WSNI and WOGL.

Don Cannon could also be seen as host of “Inside Golf” Saturday nights on the Comcast Sports Network.

You may remember that in the original Rocky movie, when the morning alarm clock goes off for Rocky’s run, it is Cannon’s voice on the radio:

On a personal note, my first job in broadcasting was at WFIL radio where Don Cannon was the host of the morning show, one of the original “Boss Jocks.” He was kind and supportive to a very young broadcaster. I have met him over the years at charity events, where he has always been more than generous with his time. The March of Dimes awarded Don Cannon a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

According to friends at WOGL, Cannon had been ill for a while and passed peacefully this morning. He had been receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit at Lankenau Hospital for the past month.

On the Broadcast Pioneers web site, President Gerry Wilkinson writes:

“Don was legend among legends. When you thought of morning drive, you had to think of Don Cannon. He was one of the good people in this industry. I can’t remember a time when someone asked Don to do something and he couldn’t or didn’t do it. For decades, Don Cannon ruled the airwaves. Now heaven has a new morning drive air personality.”

WOGL, the radio station where Cannon last worked in Philadelphia, put up a tribute page on its web site. It includes a photo gallery, a recording of a Don Cannon shows from 1992, and this posting:

“It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of a member of the 98.1 WOGL family. Our friend and radio legend Don Cannon passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 22.

Don was our morning show host from March 1990 to June 2004. He was born in New York but started working in Philadelphia radio at a young age, and Philly became his true home.

Don was a big Eagles fan, and had a great sense of humor.Don is survived by his wife Terri, two sons and two granddaughters. His family asks for privacy at this time.

Services are public and will be held at Joseph Levine & Sons in Trevose on Sunday, August 24.Tune in to The Breakfast Club on Monday, August 25 as we remember Don Cannon. To share your memories, please call 215-238-2098.”

Don Cannon’s given name is Dominic Canzano. He was 74 years old.

A previous version of this story reported that sources indicated Cannon’s cause of death was an abscess in his tooth that spread to his brain. We have been told that that is untrue.