(Cleveland) - Longtime Cleveland sports talk radio and TV host Les Levine has died at the age of 74. The death was confirmed by his daughter, Dr. Jamie Levine Daniel, who tweeted, "After a protracted battle with diabetes and Parkinson's, our dad passed away at 9:23 p.m. (Wednesday) with my brother and me holding on at his side. He fought so hard for so long and went out on his own terms."
Les was born in Cleveland. He received a degree in Political Science from Ohio State, about which he told clevelandseniors.com, the degree didn't help him in his career, but it allowed him to vote.
Les knew early on that he wanted to be a sportscaster, answering an ad in a trade magazine for a radio station in Indiana. He took the job so that he could do play-by-play of football, baseball, and basketball. The job also required Les to be a DJ at the station, and he learned about selling advertising time.
He came back to Northeast Ohio to be sales manager and sportscaster for WNIR in Kent. He learned that he could do more high school sports if he sold the ad time for the games. After nine years at WNIR, Les did sales for Akron's WKDD and WSLR, while also becoming the radio and TV voice for Cleveland State University basketball.
In the 1980s, Les was the host of a 10th Inning show after Indians games on WWWE (now WTAM).
1992 is when Les moved over to WERE, where he hosted "More Sports and Les Levine," and also did ad sales. That job ended when WERE was sold to new owners. He then took a similar job with WHK.
Les then took his act to TV, turning "More Sports and Les Levine" into a TV show, on Sports Channel, and later, online through cleveland.com.
Les was known for his wit, his quick exchanges with callers, and his inviting local sports writers on the show. His closing line was, "Of all the shows I've done, this was the most recent."
In 2019, he was honored by the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters with their award for Excellence in Radio.
(Photo from Les Levine's Twitter page)
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