David Brudnoy ’62 was born on June 5, 1940 in Minneapolis, MN. A member of Timothy Dwight College, Brudnoy majored in Japanese Studies at Yale and graduated a Ranking Scholar on the Dean’s List. As an undergraduate, Brudnoy established himself as an outspoken politico, participating in the George Orwell Forum, the Criterion Board & the Yale College Democrats. He received his master’s degree in Far Eastern studies from Harvard and a second master’s degree and a doctorate in history from Brandeis University before establishing himself as an iconoclastic radio host based in Boston, MA.
Brudnoy began his career in broadcast commentary and journalism in 1971, when he worked for Boston’s WGBH-TV. From 1981 to 1986, Brudnoy was a contributor to WRKO, before moving to WBZ, where he would stay for the rest of his career. Brudnoy would go on to become the the top-rated talk radio host in New England, appearing in his WBZ regularly scheduled weekday evening slot until his retirement and death. During his career as a radio host, Brudnoy also had articles and movie reviews published in The New York Times, The New Republic and The Saturday Evening Post.
In addition to his career on the airwaves, Brudnoy taught classes at Boston University, Northeastern University, Merrimack College, University of Rhode Island, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
In 1994, Mr. Brudnoy revealed publicly during his radio show that he was gay and had AIDS, a public proclamation that followed a near death encounter with viral pneumonia.
In 1996, he received an honorary doctorate from Emerson College and published his memoir, “Life Is Not a Rehearsal.” He became a brother of Phi Alpha Tau, a communicative arts fraternity, in the spring of 2001. That same year, he established a fund for AIDS research. In September 2003, he was told he had Merkel cell carcinoma; he died after it metastasized in his lungs and kidneys on December 9, 2004.
He was 64 years old.
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