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R.I.P. James ‘Radio’ Kennedy (Played By Cuba Gooding Jr. In Film) Passes Away At The Age Of 73

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James “Radio” Kennedy – who was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2003 film Radio – has passed away. He was 73. More inside…

A South Carolina legend has died.



James “Radio” Kennedy – who was portrayed by actor Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2003 drama film Radio – has reportedly died. He was 73. His niece/caregiver Jackie Kennedy confirmed the news, revealing he was hospitalized on Saturday and died early this morning.

Radio became a fixture in South Carolina as an "unofficial 11th grader" at T.L. Hanna High School since 1965, where he reportedly attended football games and often led the team out onto the field. He was mentally challenged, however, that didn’t stop him from being great.

He was given the nickname Radio due to carrying around his signature transistor radio. He was thrusted into the limelight back in 1996 when Sports Illustrated did a story about him and football coach Harold Jones, which shared how the town of Anderson, South Carolina accepted him with open arms. Radio and Harold formed an unbreakable bond throughout the years.

"He was just a fine, fine man," former T.L. Hanna football coach Harold Jones told the Anderson Independent Mail. "We will miss him incredibly."

In 2016, Radio was inducted into the T.L. Hanna Athletic Hall of Fame.

Radio endured a health scare months before his death. According to WYFF News 4, he was hospitalized in August due to "fluid retention and other issues related to diabetes," but he was released not long after. In December he was hospitalized again where he was treated for pancreatitis, along with ongoing diabetes and kidney issues.

In 2003, Cuba Gooding Jr. portrayed Radio in a drama film that earned him an Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture.

May Radio Rest in Peace!


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