DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Memories have been flooding in on the radio and social media of longtime DFW radio host Russ Martin. He was found dead early Saturday, Feb. 27 in his home in Frisco.
Martin was known for sending shockwaves through the radio waves.READ MORE: TxDOT Unveils 5 Proposals For Interstate 345 In Downtown Dallas
But this time, the shock was coupled with grief.
“It was just disbelief, because you knew he wasn’t going to live forever, but I don’t think any of us were ready for it,” said his friend Jerry Reynolds.
Martin was a radio presenter in North Texas for more than 30 years, including as host of the “Russ Martin Show” on 97.1 The Eagle. And while his reputation was for being a “shock jock,” friends and former colleagues said that was just one side of his personality.
“I knew both sides, and I was blessed,” said his former colleague JD Ryan. “The private Russ was really just a good heart. He was a good guy if you got behind the radio persona and the cape and all the noise and the fun and the pomp and the circumstance. He was a good fella.”READ MORE: Changes Ahead For Fort Worth 911 Call Center In Wake Of Long Delays, Unanswered Calls
With a heart for helping. He founded the RMS Listeners Foundation, raising more than $600,000 for families of first responders killed in the line of duty.
“That’s an amazing amount of money that he’s been putting toward these families in one shot when life and death is on the line and there’s not going to be another paycheck coming from that husband or that daughter that’s not going to ever come home again,” said Frederick Frazier, First Vice President of the Dallas Police Association.
Friends said the 60-year-old had suffered health problems in recent years, yet he rose to the occasion anytime a firefighter or police officer fell. And that, they said, will continue, even though he’s signed off for the last time.
“He had a heart as big as gold,” said Reynolds.MORE NEWS: Grand Jury Declines To Indict 8 Collin County Detention Officers Fired Following Marvin Scott's In-Custody Death
The Medical Examiner has not released a cause of death for Martin, but Frisco Police said they do not suspect foul play.