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Celebrity Death

What Led to Legendary Radio Host Lin Brehmer’s Death?


Legendary Chicago radio host Lin Brehmer’s cause of death was revealed on January 22, 2023. He died after a long battle with cancer, officials at WXRT confirmed.

WXRT’s Terri Hemmert revealed in a statement that Brehmer died early Sunday morning. “It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that we all lost our best friend,” Hemmert said.

“Lin Brehmer fought cancer as long as he could. He passed early this morning, peacefully, with his wife and son by his side,” she added.

Legendary Radio Host Lin Brehmer's Death

Hemmert announced that the station will honor Lin with a special block of programming beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, the time that his show regularly started.

“We’ll hold each other up through this heart-breaking time. Lin would want that. Take nothing for granted,” she said.

Brehmer, a fixture at WXRT since 1991, had taken a leave of absence in July 2022 amid an ongoing battle with prostate cancer, which had spread and forced the DJ to in order to undergo chemotherapy.

Lin Brehmer was born on August 19, 1954, in New York, New York. He has been a familiar voice on XRT since 1984 when he was selected as the station’s music director. 

During his more than three decades on-air, Lin won a plethora of awards and was named “Music Director of the Year” three times.

In 1989, he was named “Music Director of the Decade” by a radio trade magazine, Hard Report. Between spinning Talking Heads and R.E.M records, he became known to many Chicagoans as the narrator of their morning commutes, school drop-offs, and everything in between. 

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Lin Brehmer’s Cause of Death Disclosed

Prostate cancer was announced as Chicago radio personality Lin Brehmer’s cause of death at the age of 68. He died while surrounded by his wife and son.

In 2002, Brehmer started a segment called “Lin’s Bin.” He worked as the station’s host of its morning show for most of the 2000s before a more recent pivot to a midday slot.

In July 2022, he announced to listeners he would be taking a leave of absence to undergo chemotherapy treatment for cancer. As always, the talented radio host brought the news with grace. 

“The reason I do it, you really ought to know, it’s all for the love of Rock and Roll. Till next time, I’m Lin Brehmer with XRT,” he said.

Radio Host Lin Brehmer's Death

During his absence, the station turned the tables on Lin, playing countless songs in his honor. Brehmer briefly returned to the air in November and December of 2022 before his passing Sunday. 

In a November interview with CBS, Brehmer explained his decision to return. 

“[For] the immunosuppressed, there are very few things you can do that you enjoy. But one of them is to hide out in a radio studio by yourself,” he said.

“Since it’s something I love, I thought I should go back and play some Roll and Roll music.”

When the sad news of Lin Brehmer’s death was revealed, his friends and fans quickly flooded social media with tribute messages. Many fans also took to Twitter to pay touching tributes to him.

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrote on Twitter: “Lin Brehmer was the voice of Chicago. His voice was unique and a perfect way to start the day. An ambassador for the city’s music scene and a dear friend, I announced the Uptown music district concept on his show. I’ll miss hearing his voice on XRT. May his memory be a blessing.”

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