Speak radio host Barry Farber, who grew up in Greensboro, dies in New York | Broadcasting occasions
Farber moved here at the age of 5 when his father’s clothing factory was running the family south.
In a 2014 interview with News & Record, he recalled watching WBIG radio from its former location in the old O. Henry Hotel on North Elm and Bellemeade Streets.
“Just like printer ink gets in your blood, I think radio waves do, too,” he said.
He graduated from Greensboro Senior High School, now Grimsley, in 1948. He studied journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was editor of the Daily Tar Heel.
When he moved from Greensboro to New York in 1957, he was aiming for a job with a newspaper or magazine.
“I didn’t think that radio or television would welcome a southern accent,” Farber recalled in a 2014 interview.
As it turned out, his southern accent and accompanying refinement didn’t hurt. He found work as a radio producer, then as a talk show host.
Farber opened his first solo radio show in 1960. He’s interviewed guests longer than any other living, continuously broadcast radio host, according to the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, the New York Times reported.
He was also a writer and linguist – he translated Russian for the US Army during the Korean War – who had studied more than 25 languages and in 1991 wrote the book How to Learn Any Language. He founded the Language Club in New York City.