Radio legend Big Daddy Graham has passed away, fellow radio host Glen Macnow
said that Graham, real name Edward Gudonis, had died on Wednesday evening.
Graham joined WIP in 1997 and spent two decades as the station’s overnight host,
where he became known for quirky segments and eccentric callers, veering into just
about every subject imaginable. He was also known for performing wild stunts to
open Wing Bowl, alongside morning show host Angelo Cataldi.
“WIP lost one of its best people, and this city lost one of its cherished, most talented
entertainers,” Cataldi said to open his show Thursday morning. ‘We all here at WIP
are devastated by the news … we lost one of the greats.”
The news of Graham’s death led to an outpouring of support from longtime listeners
and radio personalities across the city.
Prior to joining WIP, Graham co-hosted The Sports Attack alongside Scott Graham
and Neil Hartman on 1210 AM, which at the time broadcast a largely syndicated
all-sports format as WGMP The Game.
Graham was something of a renaissance man. Over the course of his career, he was a
well-known comedian, recording artist, and author, most recently cowriter of a
revised edition of The Great Book of Philadelphia Sports Lists with fellow WIP host
“A gem of a man. A diamond in the rough,” Macnow wrote on Facebook. “A funny,
hardworking and quirky sweetheart of a guy with no filter. My pal, my coauthor. We
will all miss him.”
Graham was born and raised in Southwest Philadelphia and graduated from West
Catholic High School. He eventually settled in Mullica Hill, N.J. where he and his wife,
Debbie raised two daughters — Keely and Ava. Ava has continued in the family
business as part of WIP’s morning show alongside Cataldi.
Since 2019, Graham had been paralyzed from the waist down following a spinal cord
injury, and never fully recovered. But that didn’t keep the notorious hustler away
from the microphone. He continued to host his own podcast, Big Daddy Graham’s
Countdown, which went through the 100 greatest albums of all time.
“It’s something I just have to do. I miss it too much not to,” Graham told the Inquirer
back in 2019. “Plus, believe me. I got a lot to say.”