How did Big Daddy Graham die? Fans mourn loss of WIP radio legend at 68

How did Big Daddy Graham die? Fans mourn loss of WIP radio legend at 68
Big Daddy Graham has died (Twitter/ @JoshMRadio)

Long-time Philadelphia radio personality and comedian Big Daddy Graham has died at the age of 68. His employer SportsRadio 94WIP confirmed the news Thursday, September 9, 2021. Fellow radio host Glen Macnow said that Graham, real name Edward Gudonis, died on Wednesday evening. 

"A gem of a man. A diamond in the rough. A funny, hard-working and quirky sweetheart of a guy with no filter," Macnow wrote. "My pal, my co-author. We will all miss him." Graham was believed to be 68 years old when he died. However, his cause of death has not yet been specified.


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For years, the stand-up comedian was one of the most popular voices on the show. If anything, listeners tuned in specifically for Graham. He opened for 18 Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers including Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, and BB King. For the past two decades, he’s been a staple on SportsRadio 94WIP.

In 2019, the famous host suffered from a burst blood vessel that bled into his spine and left him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, he returned to both radio and the comedy stage. As per reports, he was also battling other health problems such as throat cancer. 

On social media, many of his fans are mourning the loss of his life. "Beyond sad to hear this. Guy made my overnight ride into work so much better for years. He was the friend I always wanted to meet in person just to thank him for being such good company. So sorry Glen," one wrote to Graham's friend. 


Dave Uram, a fan and friend, wrote a lengthy post about Graham's life and work, and how he inspired him. "After I found out about Big Daddy Graham’s passing last night, I put together some thoughts on a man I admired very much. It was an honor to be his friend and produce him. Thinking of Debbie, Keely, Ava and the rest of his family and close friends. RIP, BDG."


A fan of his wrote, "If you can make someone laugh, you pretty much have the key to life. Big Daddy Graham spent his life making people laugh. Rest In Peace, my friend. No more pain. I know you’ll be making everyone laugh in heaven."


On Thursday morning's WIP radio show, Angelo Cataldi remembered the iconic host. "WIP lost one of its best people, and this city lost one of its cherished, most talented entertainers," Cataldi said. "We all here at WIP are devastated by the news."

Graham's radio legacy will be carried on by his daughter, Ava, who currently stars on the morning show every day. On social media, many listeners and fans sent their condolences to his daughter. "Woke up this morning to very sad news with the passing of @BigDaddyGraham on Wednesday evening. So many things to remember about Big Daddy but everyone and myself will never forget he was one of a kind. My condolences to Ava Graham and the family. #RIPBIGDADDY"

Another said, "Very sad to hear of the passing of Big Daddy Graham. In my 10 years of working as a producer at WIP, I only had the privilege to work with him a couple of times. Condolences to Ava and the rest of his family. He was a great man."



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