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Royal Marshall, key part of Neal Boortz’s radio team, has passed

Royal Marshall, with Neal Boortz, at the Achievement in Radio Awards last month, when Boortz was given a lifetime achievement award. SOURCE: bootz.com

Royal Marshall, with his boss Neal Boortz, at the March of Dimes Achievement in Radio Awards in December, 2010. There, Boortz was given a lifetime achievement award. SOURCE: boortz.com

Raymond Royal Marshall, a crucial cog on  syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz’s radio team as a sidekick and engineer, has died.

Pete Spriggs, program director for AM750 and now 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB, said he collapsed at his Atlanta home and was pronounced dead at Grady Hospital at about 1 a.m. early Saturday morning.

Assistant Program Director Condace Pressley said it was too soon to pinpoint cause of death.  He was 43.

“He was a good man,” she said. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”

Marshall worked with WSB Radio for 17 years, according to the WSB Radio biography for Marshall.

Here’s the print edition story about Marshall that ran in Sunday’s paper.

UPDATE (Monday, January 17, 2010 at 10 a.m.): WSB Radio said Marshall had a fatal heart attack Saturday. His funeral service will be held at Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur Saturday at 11 a.m. It’s open to the public. WSB aired a tribute to Marshall Monday morning. Boortz announced the death of Marshall to his national syndicated network listeners at 10 a.m. Erick Erickson subbed in for Boortz today. Boortz said he will be back on air Tuesday morning live.

A St. Louis native and graduate of the University of Georgia in 1992, he got his start at WSB Radio as a board operator working overnights. Soon after, he joined Boortz as engineer and board operator.

In 1996, he started his own radio talk show called “The Royal Treatment,” which ran for several years, mostly at night.

After his show ended, he continued to work with Boortz, who is heard on hundreds of stations nationwide.

“There are no words available to express my personal sense of loss at the passing of Royal Marshall,” Boortz said in a statement released this morning.  “It’s no stretch to say that I loved that man like he was my own brother.  Royal had an unmatched sense of humor and a quick mind that made him a natural for radio, and his dedication to his colleagues and friends was only exceeded by his intense dedication to his family.  Our program, WSB Radio and the entire Cox family has lost part of its very soul this day.”

“He was always upbeat, always in a good mood,” said Mark Arum, a traffic reporter for WSB Radio for 13 years. “He was  always there with a quick line. We were always each other’s sounding board. He was always ready to lend a friendly and understanding ear.”

Rahul Bali, Marshall’s producer from 1998 to 2005, said he watched Marshall mature from happy-go-lucky bachelor to devoted father and community member. “He just grew up,” he said.

Marshall was a deacon at the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur and chair of the national advisory board at  Forever Family, a non-profit organization which helps children who have parents who are incarcerated.

Marshall also dabbled in stand-up comedy at the Punchline for a few years. “He had an easy way with people and was very comfortable with the mike,” said Jamie Bendall, who owns the Punchline. “I thought he was a natural.”

WSB Radio announced the sad news at noon today. The station then held a moment of silence on air for Marshall before airing a special hour of Boortz’s show in honor of Marshall afterwards. If you’d like to sign the ajc.com guestbook, here is the link. You can read WSB Radio’s story here.

In that WSB Radio  story, executive producer Belinda Skelton said: “For 15 years it’s been ‘Royal and Belinda. My other half is gone.  I don’t know if I can sit and look at someone else on the other side of that glass.”

The station did tributes all afternoon. Arum and Clark Howard joined Adam Goldfein to take calls and reminisce.

Marshall is survived by his wife Annette and two daughters, two-year-old Ava and four-year-old Amira.

Marshall performing at the Punchline. SOURCE: Marshall's MySpace page

Marshall performing at the Punchline. SOURCE: Marshall's MySpace page

And here’s a photo of Marshall with his wife Annette from the Clark Howard roast from 2005, from Marshall’s MySpace page:

Annette and Me at the Clark Howard Roast

And WSB passed along this photo of him at a Fair Tax Rally:

royal-marshall

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

880 comments Add your comment

Rich T

January 15th, 2011
12:08 pm

Wow! What a shock! I am so sad to hear of his passing. My deepest condolences go to his friends, family, and colleagues.

Jesse H

January 15th, 2011
12:12 pm

UNREAL.. I can’t believe this.. Royal is gone.. RIP.. To his family our prayers are with you and the girls. Such Sad News

Too soon

January 15th, 2011
12:13 pm

Sorry to hear, way too young. Thoughts are with his young family and extended radio family.

Steamboat

January 15th, 2011
12:13 pm

Dano

January 15th, 2011
12:16 pm

Almost don’t believe it. Rest in peace, Royal. My prayers are with his family.

Anonymous`

January 15th, 2011
12:17 pm

This defies logic. He was taken WAY too soon.

Tron5000

January 15th, 2011
12:17 pm

Wow. What horrible news this is. I’ve been listening to Royal & Neal since I was a teenager in the 90s. What an incredible loss this is for the entire Atlanta community. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family, as well as Mr. Boortz and Mr. Marshall’s WSB family.

Monteen

January 15th, 2011
12:18 pm

He’ll be giving heaven the Royal Treatment! RIP…

Sandra

January 15th, 2011
12:18 pm

I am totally shocked. My prayers are with his family.

:(

January 15th, 2011
12:18 pm

I don’t know what to say. Just shocking and incredibly saddened to hear.

dsm

January 15th, 2011
12:19 pm

I agree with Steamboat. Just Damn!

tvBoy

January 15th, 2011
12:20 pm

how shocking it was to hear that. so sorry. didn’t know him very well personally, but had some dealings with him at work. always nice and kind. so sad

Jacki Labat

January 15th, 2011
12:23 pm

Very, very sad news indeed. Life is far too short. I enjoyed Royal, and he will be missed.

RIP

January 15th, 2011
12:23 pm

RIP Royal—a good man. We will miss you.

David

January 15th, 2011
12:24 pm

This is terrible. Prayers to the Marshall and WSB family.

Chris

January 15th, 2011
12:24 pm

His voice and wit will be missed on that show forever. What a sad and tragic day for everyone.

D&K

January 15th, 2011
12:25 pm

Rest in peace Royal, we will miss you. Prayers to his family. :(

Stephanie - Douglasville

January 15th, 2011
12:26 pm

Royal was such an amazing person. I didn’t know him personally but I have listened to him for years and anyone would tell you that he was the kind of person that opened his heart and soul to people and you could feel like you knew him personally. He was an amazing husband and father. A a role model for many. My prayers are with his wife, children and his WSB family. I simply can’t imagine what each of you are going through right now.

Mark Roberts

January 15th, 2011
12:26 pm

Damn. Just damn.

Gmorris

January 15th, 2011
12:26 pm

Royal was always a class act and offered a neutral position on topics. he was definately on top of his game. My prayers go out to the Marshall family, Neil Boortz, and The staff of AM 750

DMR

January 15th, 2011
12:26 pm

This is a great loss to the Atlanta Community. My families’ thoughts and prayers go out to Royal’s entire family and to all who knew him and loved him.

Brian

January 15th, 2011
12:26 pm

Very sad loss:(

Ken Bryant

January 15th, 2011
12:27 pm

How terribly sad! My prayers go out to his friends and family!

Mr. Ed

January 15th, 2011
12:27 pm

Tragic. A true gentleman that complimented Boortz’s program. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Doug

January 15th, 2011
12:28 pm

Tragic news. Condolences to Royal’s family and the WSB radio colleagues mourning him.

mike olsen

January 15th, 2011
12:28 pm

Shining Star taken too soon, Our Prayers for your Family…..

Steve

January 15th, 2011
12:29 pm

I am absolutely stunned. I had the opportunity to talk with Royal on-air a few times on the Treatment. He was an incredible talent and a better person. My heart goes out to his family, friends and colleagues. We have lost a truly unique and wonderful man long before his time.

Laura

January 15th, 2011
12:30 pm

Very tragic news. My thoughts and prayers are with the Marshall family. He will truly be missed.

From Where I Sit

January 15th, 2011
12:30 pm

Neil, may GOD Bless Royal and his family during this difficult time.

We loved Royal!

So sad...

January 15th, 2011
12:30 pm

Royal always brought a smile to my face with his quick wit and fair-minded take on the issues of the day. What a marvelous role model he was! My deepest sympathy to his personal family and to his professional family… I know you’re all dealing with an unimaginable loss.

steve

January 15th, 2011
12:30 pm

Sorry to hear that. do not listen to the show that much but when I did
I always enjoyed Royal.
May God bless his family in this time of greif

Vince

January 15th, 2011
12:32 pm

I’m saddened to hear this news….Royal seemed like a down to earth guy. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

outspoken1

January 15th, 2011
12:32 pm

I love you Royal…make God laugh :)

Tom Hughes

January 15th, 2011
12:32 pm

A complete gentleman. A pleasure to know. A delight to work with, if only for a brief time. Condolences to the Marshall family and his friends at WSB.

Paul

January 15th, 2011
12:32 pm

You can shed tears that he is gone or you can smile because he has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he’s gone or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back or you can do what he’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Class of '98

January 15th, 2011
12:32 pm

May God rest your soul, Royal. You will be greatly missed.

PTC DAWG

January 15th, 2011
12:33 pm

Sad news indeed. Prayers to his Family…

I’ll never forget Royal’s interpretation of Boo Got Shot.

John

January 15th, 2011
12:33 pm

Words cannot describe my shock and sadness at just finding this out. He was an intergral part of the show and I enjoyed him very much. To the family, Neal and the Cox Family, my most heart felt condolences.

Tiff

January 15th, 2011
12:33 pm

@Donald Finley: Real classy, you jerk.

RIP, Royal. You will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

itpdude

January 15th, 2011
12:34 pm

Yeah, I talked to Royal on the Treatment a few times. His local politician hours were great. He interviewed local politicians, the whole bit. I called him a few times and have to say, he was a helluva lot classier than Boortz. Smarter and funnier, too.

If you put Rahul and Boortz and Royal in a line, you’d figure Boortz would die anyday first of old age, Rahul would die of some accident at an all-you-can-eat buffet, and then Royal at a ripe old age. This is totally shocking to me.

The man had VERY young children and a young wife. I really hope they get through this okay.

Steve C

January 15th, 2011
12:34 pm

This is too tragic and shocking to believe. The morning drive will never be the same.

EJ Moosa

January 15th, 2011
12:35 pm

What a loss for all of us. My condolences to his family.

jnix

January 15th, 2011
12:35 pm

Thoughts and prayers go out to his and WSB’s families. We just enjoyed his carrying on with Neal. The angels in heaven will welcome him. Our hearts are heavy.

Art Terrell

January 15th, 2011
12:36 pm

An INCREDIBLE talent and all around GREAT guy. You will be missed Royal. Rest in peace brother.

boots

January 15th, 2011
12:36 pm

A true gentleman and friend to both those who knew him personally and to his listeners. Royal was a good man who brough pride to his University of GA, his station and his family. He was forever hopeful, forever kind and forever caring about others. He is blessed now to be in heaven, and we will rejoice in his life. I’m sorry to see him go, but our joy is in knowing we will be reunited with him, along with our other friends, family and the Lord. God be with the Marshall family.

Dulce Vinson

January 15th, 2011
12:36 pm

Sad , very sad… I love you Neal but the show will never be the same for me… I will keep listening the show .. we will miss you Royal
Dulce VInson

Big Fan for 15 years

January 15th, 2011
12:36 pm

In total shock. RIP Royal and prayers to your family and colleagues. A huge loss.

Jim Chapman

January 15th, 2011
12:36 pm

Probably the only redeeming quality of the “Boortz Show” is now gone.

G. Blanston

January 15th, 2011
12:37 pm

Too sad.

He added some class and decorum to an otherwise angry, classless and utterly divisive message.

Jeremy

January 15th, 2011
12:37 pm

Horrible news. My thoughts and prayers for Annette, Amira, and Ava.