Shock: Amos Brown, Indiana Broadcasting Legend, Dies Friday

Amos Brown

INDIANAPOLIS – Amos C. Brown III, one of only a handful of African-American political talk show hosts in the Midwest and an Indiana broadcasting Hall of Famer, died Friday at his family home in Chicago at age 64, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Brown worked for Radio One station WTLC-AM in Indianapolis where he was a longtime host with his “Afternoons with Amos” show from 1-3 p.m. during the week was one of the city’s most popular radio shows, wrote the Star. He was inducted in the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007, noted the newspaper.

Radio One told the Indianapolis Star that the broadcaster died from what appeared to a heart attack at his parents’ home Friday afternoon.

“Brown was a staple of the Indianapolis community, utilizing his voice over the airwaves to call for action in the city,” said the Indianapolis Association of Black Journalists in a statement released Saturday.

“There was never a question too tough for Brown to ask; he consistently fought for the community he so passionately cared for. While hosting his daily afternoon talk show he was able to bridge the communication gap between city leaders and the people they served,” IABJ’s statement continued.

The Indiana Black Expo, one of the state’s largest nonprofit organizations, said in its statement that Brown was a lifelong champion for justice and equality for the African-American community and underserved.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, our Radio One family and our entire community,” the IBE statement said. “His passion and voice will be sorely missed. Amos defined his life through an unwavering and unparalleled commitment to public service, advocacy and leadership. IBE is committed to honoring his legacy in our ongoing work.”

The Indianapolis Star reported that Brown left Chicago for Indianapolis in 1975, launching the city’s first daily African-American-oriented television news show in 1992, “The Noon Show.”

His “Afternoons with Amos” radio show, won a Spectrum Award in 2009 from the Indiana Broadcasters Association for outstanding special-interest program, the Star reported.

“Amos has touched the lives and hearts of hundreds of our Radio One family, both past and present,” said Chuck Williams, Radio One Indianapolis vice president and general manager, said in a statement, according to WXIN-TV.

“Amos has touched hundreds of thousands of our extended Radio Family who have tuned in or reached out to Amos Brown every day of his illustrious Hall of Fame Broadcast Career. A city is identified and driven by the depth and passion of our leader’s civic commitment. Amos Brown was large among them. During Amos’s entire life he exemplified true passion and caring for the City of Indianapolis and definitively for the Community he loved to serve.”

Brown also wrote a regular column for Indianapolis’ African-American newspaper, the Indianapolis Recorder.

“Amos was not only an intellectual giant, he was a champion for equality and justice,” the Recorder’s president and general manager Shannon Williams said in a statement. “Amos was both my friend and mentor. I will miss our bond and numerous candid conversations. His voice, candor, and keen ability to speak truth to power – despite possible backlash, will be greatly missed. Our community has lost a great mind and a great man.”

Indiana U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly added his condolences as well in a statement.

“Amos was a once-in-a-generation community leader and a tireless advocate for Hoosiers and all those who didn’t have a voice,” Donnelly said. “Everyone in Indiana knew Amos, and had so much respect for his work in the community. There will be others who will take up his causes and speak to the same issues, but there will never be another Amos.”