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Chicago remembers late radio icon Lin Brehmer, "your best friend in the whole world"

Remembering Chicago radio icon Lin Brehmer
Remembering Chicago radio icon Lin Brehmer 02:38

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Family, friends, colleagues, and listeners are paying tribute to beloved 93XRT radio host Lin Brehmer, who died Sunday morning at the age of 68, after a tough battle with cancer.

"Lin was such an incredible presence; and when Lin entered a room, he filled that room," WXRT host Marty Lennartz said as Brehmer's colleagues remembered him on air Monday morning through a radio tribute celebrating his life. "He made every person that he met in that room feel special."

The host of 93XRT's morning show from 1991 to 2020, and midday host from 2020 until taking a leave of absence last year to undergo chemotherapy, Brehmer called himself "your best friend in the whole world," and it felt like that for Brehmer's loyal listeners.

He had a calm and kind manner that flowed easily through the radio, but really he was just a good guy who loved music and considered himself lucky to have what he called the greatest job in the world.

Although he didn't go public with his cancer diagnosis until last July, the radio host had been undergoing treatment for prostate cancer for years. It began spreading last summer, prompting a long period of chemotherapy treatments that forced him to take a leave of absence from his radio show.

When CBS 2's Jim Williams spoke with Brehmer in November, he was excited about going back to work.

"Radio has been my life. Music has been my life. And whenever I've had a rough time or a joyous time, it's the music I turn to. So getting back on the air and sharing music with XRT listeners is something that I was hoping that I'd be able to do again," Brehmer said at the time.

Sunday morning, fellow WXRT host and friend Terri Hemmert informed listeners of Brehmer's death, announcing he had died with his wife and son by his side.

Since then, tributes have continued to pour in on social media.

Golden Dagger bar and lounge quoted Brehmer's signature sign off, "it's great to be alive" on the sign above its door, saying in posts on social media that Brehmer's "simple, yet inspiring, sign-off brought so much joy to generations of Chicagoans."

Thank you Lin Brehmer. Your simple, yet inspiring, sign-off brought so much joy to generations of Chicagoans. ❤️

Posted by Golden Dagger on Sunday, January 22, 2023

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, in part, "Lin left an indelible mark on the Chicago radio landscape. He will be sorely missed."

Marquees all over Chicago are paying tribute to Brehmer on Monday, from his beloved Chicago Cubs to the music venues where he introduced bands.

Listener Bruce Thomas perhaps summed it up best:

"This is such a loss, for so many of us who never met him, yet nevertheless had a relationship with him for years in our cars and at home through @93XRT. RIP, Lin. You helped make it great to be alive."

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