Los Angeles

Longtime Los Angeles Radio Personality Charlie Tuna Dies at 71

Longtime radio personality Charlie Tuna, who was a driving force behind many stations and formats in Los Angeles, died earlier this month at 71.

Flowers were placed on his Hollywood Walk of Fame star on Monday to remember the disk jockey who was voted numerously as one of the top radio personalities in Los Angeles.

Born in Nebraska as Art Ferguson, the famed deejay "passed away peacefully in his sleep Feb. 19, 2016," according to a statement posted on his website.

"His was a life well-lived, and he will always be remembered for the joy, laughter and love of music he brought to many throughout the world with his presence on the radio. All who knew him will sadly miss him.''

His family asked that donations be made in his name to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Ferguson began using the moniker Charlie Tuna while working in Oklahoma City in 1966. After a stint in Boston, he moved to Los Angeles in late 1967, appearing on KHJ.

He was one of the original DJs at KROQ in the early 1970s, then became a morning DJ and program manager at KKDJ, which later became KIIS- AM and eventually began a simulcast on FM.

He worked a series of other stations, including KRLA, KODJ and KLAC, then hosted the "Charlie Tuna in the Morning'' program on KBIG until 2007.

After that station changed format, he moved to K-Earth 101, where he stayed until 2015, when he focused on a syndication business.

He appeared for more than two decades on Armed Forces Radio, and served as an announcer on television shows including "Scrabble,'' "The Mike Douglas Show'' and "America's Top 10'' with Casey Kasem.

He was voted as one of the top 10 radio personalities in Los Angeles in 1997 by Los Angeles Radio People readers and in 2007 and 2013 by LARadio.com.

Charlie Tuna is also credited with raising millions of dollars for Children's Hospital Los Angeles, thanks to his annual "Tunathon'' fundraiser.

Charlie lived in Tarzana, where he served as the city's honorary mayor since 1977.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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