'We all lost our best friend': Radio icon Lin Brehmer dies after cancer battle

  • Lin Brehmer

    Lin Brehmer

Updated 1/23/2023 6:25 AM

Beloved WXRT 93.1-FM radio host and rock'n'roll poet laureate Lin Brehmer has died after battling cancer, the Chicago radio station reported Sunday.

"It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that we all lost our best friend," Brehmer's colleague and friend Terri Hemmert said in a tweet Sunday.


"Lin Brehmer fought cancer as long as he could. He passed early this morning, peacefully, with his wife and son by his side."

WXRT will celebrate Brehmer's life on the air at 10 a.m. Monday.

"We'll hold each other up through this heartbreaking time. Lin would want that. Take nothing for granted," Hemmert wrote.

Brehmer, 68, joined the adult alternative station as music director in 1984 and began a lengthy stint as its morning man in 1991, later shifting to midday. He took time off in summer 2022 to receive treatment for cancer but returned to the air last fall.

Brehmer combined a wickedly funny sense of humor, an encyclopedic knowledge of music, and philosophical wisdom on his shifts and the popular "Lin's Bin" feature.

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On his 25th anniversary at the station in 2017, Brehmer was asked in a Chicago Sun-Times interview, "What makes you, at the age of 62, still funny?"

Brehmer replied: "A lot of what people see as funny is my tendency to be self-deprecating. Everybody can make fun of themselves. That's the safest target. Anything else, you're opening up a can of ugly, swirling, venomous worms.

"I have a certain tendency to do things, real things, that turn out to be funny, like showing up to work with a snow boot on my right foot and a sneaker on my left foot, just because I wasn't really concentrating getting my foot gear on."

Reflections on the life of the die-hard Cubs fan quickly filled social media.

"Chicago has lost its best friend," Chicago congressman Mike Quigley said in a tweet.

"I simply cannot imagine a world without Lin Brehmer," radio personality Joan Esposito said in a tweet. "We are all the poorer for it. Brilliant writer, lover of people and music, fantastic father and all around awesome human being."

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