Dan Ingram, Irreverent Disc Jockey, Is Dead at 83

Dan Ingram, Irreverent Disc Jockey, Is Dead at 83

Mr. Ingram, Mr. Sniffen said, “inspired a generation of young listeners to become radio people.”

With a deep voice that conveyed mischief, Mr. Ingram addressed his fans as “Kemosabe” (the Native American character Tonto’s term of endearment for the Lone Ranger). He variously called his show the “Ingram mess,” the “Ingram flingram” or the “Ingram travesty.” And each day he named an “honor group” (like trombonists or garbagemen) and announced a word of the day, with a twisted definition.

“Contravene,” he once said, “is something that prevents babies.”

Daniel Trombley Ingram was born into a musical family on Sept. 7, 1934, in Oceanside, N.Y. His father, John, played saxophone and flute for big bands, and his mother, Dorothy (Trombley) Ingram, was a cellist who led a chamber-music group, the Trombley Trio.

Smitten with radio, Mr. Ingram attended live broadcasts in Manhattan and entered a D.J. contest on Fred Robbins’s radio show at age 13. He finished last in a field of six. “The guy who won became a carpenter in New Jersey,” Mr. Ingram said in an interview in 2002 on the New Jersey FM station WFMU.

He attended Hofstra College (now Hofstra University) on Long Island but left before graduation to pursue a radio career, working at stations on Long Island and in Connecticut, Dallas and St. Louis. He joined WABC-AM in 1961 as it battled WMCA-AM for supremacy among rock listeners in the New York market. The other personalities at WABC included Bruce Morrow, known as Cousin Brucie, Ron Lundy, Chuck Leonard and Herb Oscar Anderson (who died last year). Of them, only Mr. Morrow survives.

Mr. Ingram stayed with WABC until it changed to a talk format in 1982. On his final broadcast, he signed off by saying, “The honor group of the day, my friend, is you, because if you hadn’t listened I would never have been here.”

After leaving WABC, Mr. Ingram held other radio jobs and did commercial voice-overs. But it was not until 1991 that he returned to prominence when he joined WCBS-FM, a powerhouse station built on playing classic rock ’n’ roll.

“I’m lucky as hell that there’s a place in New York where I can peddle my wares,” Mr. Ingram told The Times in 2002, a year before he retired. “Elderly disc jockeys aren’t exactly in great demand around the country.”

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