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Richard Hake, Popular Radio Host, Dies Suddenly At 51

Richard Hake
Richard Hake Photo Credit: Facebook

Hudson Valley native Richard Hake who helped wake up New York during his show on WNYC, the city's public radio station for more than 28 years, died suddenly on Friday, April 24, of natural causes.

"It’s with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that our beloved colleague and friend Richard Hake passed away suddenly on Friday at home," said Goli Sheikholeslami, the chief executive of WNYC. 

Hake, 51, a Carmel High School grad, died at his Manhattan home where he had been broadcasting his shows since the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Know as a reporter, and producer and the host of NPR's "Morning Edition" Hake had worked for the station for 28 years.

"For all of us at New York Public Radio and in WNYC’s listening community, Richard was one of the first voices we heard every morning," said Sheikholeslami.

Sheikholeslami said Hake helped the city get ready for whatever lay ahead, and his job was one he worked very hard to obtain.

"He loved to say he “woke up New York,” and he brought the same warmth and generosity to listeners that he shared with his colleagues," she added.

His colleagues recorded heartwarming tributes to Hake who was known to be warm and encouraging to all.

WNYC's former Morning Edition host Soterios Johnson and current WNYC host/reporter Shumita Basu said they were devastated by the loss. 

Johnson said Hake, who was graduated from Fordham University in 1991, was "just a good guy." Adding that he was fun, as well as a great reporter and broadcaster. 

Born in the Bronx, Hake was the son of Richard James Hake, a New York City police detective, and Joy Mekeland, a secretary. 

In addition to his parents, Hake is survived by his stepfather Joseph Colombo; his brothers, Ryan and Jack; and his sister, Christine Hake.

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