POWEL CROSLEY, JR.
Powel Crosley, Jr. was born in Cincinnati on September 18, 1886. He entered radio in 1921 as a manufacturer, surmising correctly that the medium’s popularity depended on making radios affordable to everyone. Within five years, the Crosley Radio Corporation had become the largest radio manufacturer in the world. In an effort to boost the sale of his company’s radios, Crosley entered the world of broadcasting with the 1922 launch of WLW/Cincinnati, a 50-watt station that became a 50,000-watt powerhouse.
During the 1930s, WLW’s power was increased temporarily to 500,000 watts. Known as “The Nation’s Station,” WLW was the birthplace of Ma Perkins, one of radio first soap operas. The station also gave important opportunities to such talent as Red Skelton, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, The Mills Brothers, Jane Froman, Red Barber, Norman Corwin, Frazier Thomas, and Fats Waller, who was hired to play organ on Moon River, a program of music and poetry that ran on WLW for 42 years. Crosley became part-owner of the Cincinnati Reds in 1934 and was responsible for the introduction of night baseball to the major leagues.
Powel Crosley, Jr. died on March 28, 1961.
He. was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2013