(CBSDFW.COM) – If you were a listener on radio or watcher on TV of the Imus In The Morning show, you will most likely remember seeing “The God Squad”, a duo of a Catholic priest and a Jewish rabbi from New York. For nearly a quarter of a century, Msgr. Tom Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman brought together an interfaith message to millions of radio and TV audiences. This past Tuesday, Msgr. Hartman passed away at age 69 from complications due to Parkinson’s Disease.READ MORE: 2 Dozen Dallas ISD Campuses Still Debating Alternative Calendars
For me, it was through watching the Imus show on MSNBC (and distributed via Westwood One Radio Networks from WFAN 66 in New York, a CBS Radio owned station) that I first learned of these two magnificent men. They were able to speak to people about religion in such a way that made you feel good and gave one hope. They also played off of each other well with tremendous senses of humor, with Hartman being the straight guy and Gellman with the punchlines. And they knew how to respond back to Imus who was, for the most part respectful, but could throw an unexpected line at them with his sharp wit.READ MORE: Family Of 'Kind, Loving' Man Shot By Stray Bullet Into Apartment, Struggling With Senseless Death
Father Tom also was Director of Telecare, a cable TV channel seen in the New York/Long Island area that was owned and operated by the Diocese Of Rockville Centre. The God Squad was at one point syndicated, reaching nearly 15 million people a week. The duo were regular guests on ABC’s Good Morning America.MORE NEWS: Dallas Cowboys Reach Multi-Year Deal With Star Quarterback Dak Prescott
He raised $21 million for research into Parkinson’s, giving some of the money to The Thomas Hartman Center for Parkinson’s Research at Stony Brook University, which opened in 2013.