Talk Radio Pioneer and Host Chuck Harder Dead at 74

Chuck Harder
Chuck Harder

Talk Radio Pioneer and legendary host of "For The People" Chuck Harder died on April 10, 2018 at age 74. Upon learning of Chuck Harder's passing with little fanfare within the radio industry, Tom Donahue decided to write and pass along the following tribute to RADIO ONLINE:

"Chuck Harder had an illustrious radio broadcast career that's spanned decades. Harder had been a prominent radio DJ, talk show host, creator and founder of radio stations, talk radio networks, satellite systems, cable TV and newspaper projects. He worked in New York City, Tampa radio and other markets, eventually leading to national syndication. Harder was on the forefront of broadcast evolution, forging new paths. He started the Sun Radio Network and the For The People radio program and organization, based in Tampa, Florida. Following a fallout with his new network business partners, he went on to form a new radio network The Peoples Radio Network, relocating to the Telford Hotel in White Springs, Florida. Harder's For The People radio show was heard on more than 300 radio stations and shortwave radio. Chuck was beloved by a large loyal following and his show was hugely popular and made a profound difference in their lives. Chuck Harder's program, with the exception of Rush Limbaugh's show, was the most listened to syndicated show in prime daytime. Harder's show and network supplied and sustained so many small market independently owned stations. Chuck's show was also carried by some big time stations in major markets. He had a golden radio voice and was a complete natural on-air broadcaster. If any radio talent and consummate broadcaster deserves a place in the Radio Hall of Fame, it is Chuck Harder!

Harder was not a political partisan, rather an independent populist, a protectionist, pro-America nationalist, who leaned left, yet, his politics were of, for and by the people. Chuck was a consumer advocate who looked out for the little guy and the average American. He gave voice to the voiceless, offered common sense for the common man. He cared about our country and its people. Harder had his tax exempt 501(C)3 status scrutinized and investigated by the IRS and Justice department for primarily political purposes. He endured an 18 year harassing and intrusive audit. Chuck was a harsh critic of both the Bush and Clinton regimes and more favorably supportive of Ross Perot, Reform Party and other lesser known political parties and persons. Chuck Harder was a fair-trade protectionist who waged the trade resistance war vs NAFTA/GATT globalist agendas. Chuck fought for the average American Worker and for bringing back better paying manufacturing jobs. Build and Buy American! He opposed outsourcing and exporting of jobs, plant closings and foreign relocations, competing unfairly with cheap foreign labor and the influx of illegals, and the lack of secure borders. He investigated and challenged the power elite structure and status quo in big business, big media, and big government. Chuck covered: consumer affairs, current events, trade and tax policies, fair vs free trade, political news, mega-monopolies, corruption, conspiracies and cover-ups, nationalism vs globalism, alternative media and free press, NASA and UFO's and much more. His show had a eclectic mix of commentary, callers, news, and guests. His signature brand show, theme music and bumpers, his newspaper, unique product offerings and his historic broadcast setting made for a most memorable experience. For The People and Peoples Radio Network represented an alternative media vs the mainstream monopoly media.

Without a Chuck Harder or Pat Buchanan paving the way; along with Ross Perot and later Michael Savage there is No Trump campaign or presidency! Chuck deserves credit for his many contributions to informing and awakening America.

Strangely, Chuck Harder and Art Bell died within few days of each other in April. Both were arguably the biggest and most impactful talk radio stars of their genres in the 1990's and with the exception of Rush Limbaugh, ruled the talk radio landscape! They were both fiercely independent and alternative in their unique approaches.

Chuck Harder's likely regrets might be his failings and mishandling of some of his business dealings with partners that cost him his various operations. Kayla, Liberty Lobby (Sun Radio Network), United Auto Workers (Peoples Radio Network, United Broadcast Network). Despite, these setbacks, Chuck remained on-the-air with his message and mission "For The People". He later would broadcast his show via Talk America Radio Network, then started Talk Star Radio Network and online streaming and satellite. Then For The People radio show podcast with co-host Keith Alan, who now continues on in the tradition of Chuck Harder.

Harder was beset for years with health ailments that included weight struggles, leg and heart problems and finally a severe stomach disorder. Chuck died of health related complications. He had been confined to a nursing home in Gainesville, Florida. He faced extreme health and financial challenges lifelong and persevered. Chuck was bigger than life literally and figuratively.

Full disclosure: I was the talk host who replaced Chuck Harder's show on The Sun Radio Network back in April, 1991. We competed in the afternoons for many months before my joining Chuck's Peoples Radio Network, in White Springs, Florida for nearly two years. Due to the controversial nature of both of our talk shows we had deep state government surveillance and interference that caused Harder concerns and his severing the ties with my show airing on his network. I was deeply disappointed and had to regroup and concentrate on seeking a new syndicating network to serve my affiliate stations and loyal listener base. Fortunately, I rebounded with BRN and later with Talk America Radio Network. If it hadn't been for Chuck's departure from Sun Radio Network I may not have ever experienced holding down a nationally syndicated talk show on this high level. Then to later join Chuck at his new network. In fact, for a few months I resided at the remote, historic Telford Hotel and broadcast center, before moving to Jacksonville. I feel a great debt of gratitude for the influence that Chuck Harder had on me and my career. The interesting intersection of our lives and careers was uncanny. He was one of the all-time greats! A legendary broadcast talent and media force who made his mark. It is my hope that Chuck Harder garners the radio broadcast respect and recognition long earned and well deserved and sometime soon is honored for his meaningful work in the Radio Hall of Fame."

By Tom Donahue host of "America's Town Forum in the 1990's"


Return to Menu