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Obituaries : Jonathan Kirby; Conservative Talk Show Host, News Writer

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Jonathan Kirby, a conservative talk show host in San Diego and a television and radio news writer in Los Angeles and Orange County, has died.

Kirby, 78, of Thousand Oaks, died Thursday. He was once known as the “Voice of San Diego,” where he hosted a long-running talk show on KCBQ radio.

“Jonathan was ahead of the curve,” said Lynn Kirby, his wife. “People just weren’t ready for him. He was one of the first. [Rush Limbaugh] is Jonathan all over again.”

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In San Diego in the early 1960s, Kirby was at the top of his career, she said. He crusaded not just for conservative issues but helped his listeners correct what his wife called injustices. Newspaper ads touted him as an “exponent of truth,” she said.

Kirby later worked as a news writer for KTTV commentator George Putnam and as a Los Angeles City Hall reporter for KFWB radio in North Hollywood. He retired in 1982.

A native of Providence, R.I., he won a Bronze Star while serving with the Army’s 42nd Rainbow Division in Europe during World War II, his wife said.

In the 1950s he had a radio talk show in Denver, making a name for himself as a crusading conservative and anti-Communist.

During the 1964 presidential campaign, he was Republican candidate Barry Goldwater’s television and radio liaison in California.

In addition to his wife, Kirby is survived by two daughters, Lisa Dodge and Pamela Kirby, and a son, James Kirby, all of Thousand Oaks.


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