By Dorothy J. Gentry
As news hit on May 18th that legendary DFW sports journalist Roger B. Brown passed away days after his 61st birthday, many of his friends and former media colleagues took to social media to express their feelings about the beloved “Roger B.”
“Damn. My world just got rocked 30 minutes ago when Alicia Young, the sister of sports journalist Roger B. Brown, called to tell me that he died today,” Roland S. Martin wrote in an Instagram post.
Martin and Roger B. worked together at both KKDA Soul 73 AM and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. They were also Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers.
Martin’s Instagram post continued: “Roger suffered a stroke last week. He was in rehab today, was showing improvement, went to his room and never woke up. Roger B. Brown wasn’t just a colleague of mine at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and KKDA-AM, he was also my Alpha Phi Alpha brother. We were close friends. We hung out at the house, had many long, wild conversations, and we were ALWAYS there for each other. Roger B and I played phone tag on Thursday and Friday, which was his 61st birthday. I’ve listened to that voicemail twice. Damn, my friend, my frat, my colleague is gone. I’m gonna miss that Mississippi boy. RIP, Roger B.”
In a second Instagram post minutes later, Martin wrote: “Prayers for his sister, Alicia Young, and all his fans in the D/FW area and all across the country. He was a dedicated sports journalist and a proud Alpha Phi Alpha man. He was truly my friend, something I don’t say about a lot of people. #RIProgerB”
Roger B.’s sports show – “Talking Sports With Roger B. Brown” – served the African-American community in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. It was heard Mondays through Fridays from 6-7 pm and on Sundays from 6-8 pm. He also talked sports during “The Willis Johnson Morning Show.” Roger B.’s show was one of the few sports talk shows at that time hosted by a black broadcaster. In late May 2012, KKDA laid off much of its staff, including Roger B. Brown and replaced them with an automated service. The station was later sold.
Another former colleague, longtime Star-Telegram Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill Jr., wrote a Facebook post accompanied by a picture of Roger B. and a post from his sister breaking the news of his death.
“Prayers to the family of the legendary Roger B. Brown, former Star-Telegram columnist—NBA writer, former longtime talk show host on Soul 73 KKDA. Roger B. Brown is gone,” Hill’s post read. “He will be missed. I have known Roger B since college. He was my media lifeline when I joined the Star-Telegram in 1995. He was a huge figure in DFW sports for the last 30 years. Not a week goes by without someone asking me about Roger B.”
“So sad to hear about Roger B. Brown, who died today,” Dwain Price, Mavs.com writer posted on Twitter. “Roger B. and I were co-workers at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I also was one of his co-hosts on a sports radio show at KKDA. Roger B had this unique way of keeping you laughing at all times. Please keep his family lifted in prayer.”
Spud Webb, former NBA player, Dallas native and current Texas Legends President of Basketball Operations, posted in the comments under Hill’s Facebook post: “Sorry to hear the news, had listened to him for a long time, always promoted things we were doing in the neighborhood, will be truly missed.”
ESPN analyst Kevin Blackistone, a former reporter at The Dallas Morning News, also commented: “Man. One of a kind. Used to call me The Fake B! And we’d laugh, then get real about somethin’ in the news.”
Kevin Lyons, a former Star-Telegram staffer, posted on Facebook: “This is awful news. When I first started at the Star-Telegram, Roger B. was one of the first big names who was nice to me. He used to have me over to his house all the time sharing stories or giving out advice. RIP.”