Larry Aiken

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Larry Aiken - entertainment promoter, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Vanderburgh County Democratic Party activist -- died Feb. 13 at age 69 after a long illness.

Aiken, who attended Bosse High School, retired from a 44-year career in advertising and entertainment promotion in 1999. He was chairman of the Vanderburgh County Democratic Party from March 2005 until February 2008, when he stepped down for health-related reasons.

While still attending high school in the late 1950s, Aiken achieved local celebrity status as "Lonesome Larry" on WEOA Radio.

While he was at WEOA, Aiken hosted a dance show on WEHT-News25.

In 1958 he left Evansville to pursue work as a radio disc jockey with broadcast stations in Louisville, Ky., Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

Returning to Evansville in 1963, Aiken founded the Aiken Agency with his brother, Keith.

The company, later renamed Aiken Management, would produce 1,700 shows over the next 36 years, including events with Frank Sinatra, the Harlem Globetrotters, Larry Bird, Elton John, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and Barry Manilow.

The company, which Aiken sold in 1999, ultimately became the second-largest presenter of touring Broadway shows in the United States.
Published in Courier Press on Feb. 14, 2010
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