Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Alaska has lost a giant. Former Alaska State Senator and KINY radio host Dennis Egan has passed away.
According to his family, Egan passed away this morning at an assisted living home in Salem, Oregon.
Egan's daughter, Leslie, and her family, live in Oregon. Egan's family said his wife, Linda, was also visiting him at the time.
Born March 3, 1947, he was 75 years old. He was the son of Alaska’s first governor, William "Bill" Egan.
During high school, and after broadcast engineer training, he worked at KINY in the 1960s. In 1967, Egan graduated from radio operation engineering school. He then served in the Alaska Army National Guard from 1967 to 1974.
In 1980, he began hosting KINY’s Problem Corner. He continued to host the show until 2010.
KINY personality Kelly Peres remembered his time working with Egan.
"I had decades working for Dennis, and will just tell you, point blank, that he was easily the best boss and among the best broadcasters that I have ever worked with," Peres said.
Egan represented Juneau from 2009 until 2019. He was a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as the Mayor of Juneau from 1995 to 2000, and was a member of the Assembly prior to that.
“Dennis was larger than life. He charmed just about everyone he ever met. I once watched him tell a lobbyist there was no way he’d ever vote for a bill, and the guy still left with a smile on his face,” said Sen. Jesse Kiehl, who was elected to Egan's seat upon retirement. “Dennis always listened to his community, was a straight shooter, and truly respected the people around him. Alaska was his home, he put Alaskans first, and his heart belonged to Juneau.
“My heart goes out to Linda, Jill and Leslie, and the whole family,” Sen. Kiehl said. “Alaska lost a giant today, but every Alaskan can be proud of Dennis’ dedication to our state and our capital city.”
Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich also remembered Egan, saying, “Alaska, Juneau, and all of us who knew him mourn the loss of Dennis Egan today. Dennis was a friend and colleague whose warm voice, embracing smile, and wry sense of humor brightened the legislature and his hometown for decades. Dennis made a difference and will be missed. His family and friends are in my thoughts today.”
He was named as the Alaska Broadcaster Association's Broadcaster of the Year in 1990, and was named to the ABA Hall of Fame in 2001.