Reporting Cherri Gregg
By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hundreds flocked to Sharon Baptist Church in West Philadelphia Saturday to celebrate the life of beloved Philadelphia radio icon E. Steven Collins. Collins died suddenly last week after suffering a massive heart attack at the age of 58 (see related story).
Collins was larger than life and so was his tribute, which included the Reverand Al Sharpton, Kenny Gamble, Patti Jackson, Marvin Sapp, Tom Joyner and the many more who witnessed the selflessness of who E was.
“He gave, he gave, he gave and gave,” Mayor Michael Nutter told the mourning crowd. He declared Saturday, September 21st “E. Steven Collins Day,” announcing that the City would donate $5,000 to the E. Steven Collins Memorial Scholarship Fund at Temple University.
“E’s name should be on a building,” says Nutter, “his name should be on a college of Communications. We have a lot of buildings named after a lot of people- many of them did great things 200 years ago. When will we recognized people of our time.”
“My staff is just devastated,” says Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One, Inc. Hughes hired Collins away from WDAS 10 years ago. Collins worked with E for more than 10 years and says he will be missed.
“He was the voice of Philadelphia,” says Hughes, “It didn’t matter what station he was on he was still the voice of the people, the voice of the community.”
Collins was an executive at Radio One and host of “Philly Speaks” on Sunday mornings on 100.3 FM. Before that, he spent more than three decades at WDAS. Collins mentored scores of Philadelphia media talent and was known as a community activist, husband and father.
“My father was the greatest man that ever lived,” 15-year-old Langston Collins told the crowd about his father.
Other speakers included state Senators Anthony Williams and Vincent Hughes, community activist Charlie Mack and several others.
To donate to the E. Steven Collins Memorial Fund CLICK HERE.