Russ Martin, a radio host on 97.1 The Eagle, was found dead in his home early Saturday morning, according to Frisco police.
A friend of Martin’s went to check on him at his home in the 6300 block of Douglas Avenue and found him unresponsive, police said.
Police responded at about 12:30 a.m. and Martin, 60, was pronounced dead at the home. His cause of death has not been determined, but police said no foul play is suspected.
During a 1 p.m. broadcast on The Eagle, several members of the show paused the programming to announce Martin’s death and remember their friend.
“Our friend — our mentor — is gone,” one person said.
Through emotional tributes, the group remembered Martin’s life — the good moments and his struggles — and the emotions they went through after they learned of his death. They said they plan to find a way to hold a proper tribute for Martin, who hosted The Russ Martin Show on 97.1.
Following the broadcast, Dan O’Malley said the news was shocking but not unexpected for those who were close with Martin.
“Russ has been dealing with a lot of health issues over the last few years, so it’s sad that it comes to its inevitable end. But at the same time, we’re trying to find solace in knowing that he’s at peace and that he’s no longer in pain,” O’Malley said.
He said in Martin’s prime, there was no one better on the radio.
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“It’s interesting too because he’s very polarizing. So whether you loved him, you hated him, you loved his show, you hated his show, you at least knew of him. And you had an opinion on it. And he wasn’t afraid to give his opinions on things either. It’s part of what made him so successful,” O’Malley said.
A post on The Eagle’s Facebook page and website asked for fans to share their favorite memory of Martin.
Martin was taken off the air in 2008 when his old station, Live 105.3, switched to sports talk. He had been with the station since 2000. He returned to radio on KEGL 97.1 in 2010.
Shortly before he went off the air, Martin was arrested on a charge of domestic assault against his girlfriend. Martin later pleaded no contest to the charges.
The Russ Martin Show Listeners Foundation, which supports the families of Dallas-Fort Worth police officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty, has been around since 2002 and has given more than $500,000 to the families of fallen Dallas-Fort Worth first responders.
O’Malley said both the foundation and show will continue.
For those looking to show their support, he encourages them to donate to Martin’s foundation.
Anyone with information about Martin’s death may call Frisco police at 972-292-6010. Anonymous tips may be made by texting FRISCOPD and the tip to 847411 or through the Frisco PD app.
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