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Charles Morgan; KPFK Broadcaster

A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday for Charles Morgan, an award-winning National Public Radio broadcaster known locally for his call-in show “Talk to Me” on KPFK.

Morgan was 78 when he died Aug. 7 in Los Angeles after a long illness.

He joined KPFK in 1974 as a commentator and was heard Monday and Friday evenings. During a broadcast career that began in the 1930s, he won two Associated Press awards and a Golden Mike from the Radio and Television News Directors Assn. In 1982, the International Writers Organization honored him with its Gold Pen award.

Outspoken and radical, Morgan was known for a sardonic wit that he coupled with what a KPFK spokesman described as “feisty discontent with the status quo.”

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His early career involved such disparate tasks as working as a bank clerk, writing for Bank News magazine and announcing for small radio stations in the Midwest, occasionally for a young Lawrence Welk.

He wrote in an autobiography that he was constantly being fired for his leftist beliefs and in 1938 made them official, joining the Communist Party of the United States and working for the party newspaper, Daily Peoples World.

He worked in television and newspapers in San Francisco in the late 1950s and ‘60s and then returned to the Los Angeles area. At KPFK he became known for this final admonishment to his listeners: “Persevere.”

Survivors include his longtime companion, Katherine McIntire.

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The service is scheduled for 3 p.m. at St. Augustine’s by the Sea in Santa Monica.


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