Bob Nelson, Longtime KYW Contributor, Dead At 90

By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Bob Nelson joined KYW in 1967 as an anchor and arts and entertainment editor. But director of news and programming Steve Butler says it was Nelson’s gift for writing that set him apart.

“Certainly, his essay, “I Am Your Flag,” was great evidence of that.

I Am Your Flag: “Traditionalists would say I was born of a woman’s hand, fashioned from bits of colored cloth by a seamstress in a small house in Philadelphia a year after the new country was born.”

Written and recorded in 1975, “I Am Your Flag” was revised three times.

“I was raised over the rubble at the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon. I’ve been folded smartly by soldiers, and handed to weeping widows. I’ve covered the coffins of those who’ve served country and community.”

Nelson retired in 1991. Sort of.

“Even after he went allegedly part-time,” says Butler,”he still showed up at the office every day, to put together a theater review, or some sort of entertainment feature. He continued to do that for many many years.”

Longtime colleague Jay Lloyd says there was nothing pretentious about Nelson’s reviews.

“He liked things the average person liked. He didn’t look so much at the art, he looked more at whether something was enjoyable. Was it exciting? Was it funny?”

Nelson filed his last report in 2013. He died Saturday in California.

I Am Your Flag: “…there are now more stars in my blue field than in the beginning, and if need be, there’s room for more. But those red and white stripes remain as they’ve always remained, clearly visible through the struggle, the symbol of the land of the free and the home of the brave. I am your past. I am your future. I am your flag.”

More from Molly Daly

One Comment

  1. Fred Walters says:

    He was an exceptionallygifted writer and reader, in a league with Charles Osgood

  2. K. Nurse says:

    He used to come on at 5PM after Reporters Roundup with Bill Bransome in the 1980’s. We used to call him “BIGSHOW” or “Uncle Bob”. This was in KYW RADIO’s heyday. When they were #1 in Philly.

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