Tom Joyner was born in Tuskegee, Alabama and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Tuskegee Institute. Upon graduating, Joyner took a job reading news on WRMA/Montgomery. Subsequent jobs at WLOK/Memphis, KWK/St. Louis and KKDA/Dallas followed.
Joyner’s success led him to Chicago, where he worked at stations WJPC, WVON and WBMX before hitting it big at WGCI.
Joyner made headlines in 1985 as “The Hardest Working Man in Radio,” when he accepted a morning position at KKDA/Dallas while simultaneously taking an afternoon show at WGCI/Chicago. His daily commute between the two cities led to high ratings in both markets while earning Joyner a new nickname: “The Fly Jock.”
In January of 1994, Joyner began syndicating The Tom Joyner Morning Show to 29 stations. Joyner’s new show offered a mix of music, comedy, guests—ranging from Stevie Wonder to Tipper Gore—and occasional discussions of social or political issues. Today, Joyner’s show is heard on over 110 stations.
Perhaps Joyner’s most unique honor comes from Impact magazine, who awarded their “Best DJ of the Year” award to Joyner so many times over the years that they finally renamed it “The Tom Joyner Award.”
Tom Joyner was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1998.