On this day in 1937, radio executive Marv Dyson was born in Chicago, Illinois.
Born to Florence and Richard Dyson, both radio announcers, Marv attended McCosh Elementary School and Parker High School, from which he graduated in 1955. He went on to continue his educated at the College of Emporia in Emporia in Kansas, graduating in 1959. Dyson then took a position with Chicago’s WJPC-FM radio station. He soon was promoted to president and general manager.
A decade later, Dyson convinced disc jockey Tom Joyner to work for WJPC-FM with him. Joyner remained with the station until the mid-1980. Dyson then chose to leave WJPC and begin working as a sales account executive for Clear Channel’s WGCI-FM and WVAZ-FM. Promoted to general manager in 1981, Dyson hired Kevin Wagner and Doug Banks, two young professionals with promise in the communications field. Because of Dyson, comedian Steve Harvey was given his first break in the radio broadcasting industry.
In 1994, Dyson was promoted to President of WGCI-FM. He led the station to achieving Chicago’s highest audience ratings. As a result, he was appointed a lifetime achievement award at the third annual March of Dimes Achievement Radio Awards.
Honored by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in 2003, Dyson was named the Broadcast Advertising Club of Chicago’s Person of the Year. The same year, he retired as general manager after holding the position for 35 years. Two years later, 2005, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Fund infused $17 million into Urban Radio Communications, making it the second largest black-owned radio company in the United States.
Until his death, Dyson served as the co-owner of 13 radio stations, including Kennedy King College’s famous WJPC-FM station.