Pittsburgh - based broadcaster and radio/tv talent, Robert Wolfson, publicly known as Bob Wilson, passed away on Saturday, April 25, 2015. He was 81 years old. Beginning in his teens, Wolfson worked as an actor, writer, director, announcer, narrator, engineer, manager, correspondent, newscaster and news analyst. Wolfson began his career in Hollywood in the 1940s as an actor during the final years of radio dramatic shows. He also held a weekend position as the world's youngest classical music announcer. While in California, Wolfson worked at stations KPPC, KCSM and KX-RX. In 1953, Wolfson joined the United States Air Force. In the service, Wolfson spent time at WLOX in Biloxi, MS before being trained by the USAF Security Service in New Orleans to intercept and record Morse Code. Wolfson was sent to North Africa, and while stationed in Libya in 1954, Wolfson transferred to the Armed Forces Radio Station as Chief Announcer/Program Director. He was instrumental in the installation of the first television station in Africa and was the first person to be televised on the African continent when he anchored the Six PM News as News Director of AJG-TV. Wolfson later toured Africa and Europe as a performer and stage manager of an Air Force entertainment group, and was eventually assigned to the Strategic Air Command near Omaha, Nebraska where he directed the SAC Headquarters Little Theatre. Wolfson met his future wife while stationed at SAC in Omaha. After taking his military discharge in Omaha, he married and started a family. Wolfson was the proud parent of eight children, Tim Wolfson, Teri Fedorka, Traci Wolfson, Tami McQuaid, Tara Craig, Tedi Coco, Laura King and Tom Wolfson. Wolfson is survived by 16 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren; and his sister, Karen Wagner, who resides in Hillsboro, California. While working at KOIL-AM in Omaha, Wolfson helped create and pioneer the concept of "Top 40" pop music radio. Over a period of 12 years at KOIL, Wolfson worked as Program Director, News Director, Public Affairs Director and Creative Director in addition to being a popular on-air personality. In 1967, Wolfson began working for ABC Radio as an on-air personality at KQV-AM in Pittsburgh. Wolfson later served as Production Manager at KQV while also using his talents as a freelance voice-over announcer. Wolfson was soon a spokesman for Alcoa, Westinghouse, United States Steel, Gulf Oil, Rubbermaid, Pittsburgh Paints and H.J. Heinz Foods, among many others. After helping to start the KQV-affiliated "album rock" station WDVE-FM, Wolfson moved to Heftel Broadcasting's 13Q (WKTQ-FM) where he worked as Creative Director. In 1976, Wolfson opened shop as "Bob Wilson Productions". Over the years, Wolfson recorded over 20,000 commercials and audio-visual presentations. Wolfson's career included stints at the popular stations K98 (KHFI-FM) in Austin, Texas and KJZY in Dallas in the late 1980s and WKBR (K-Bear) in Pittsburgh in the early 1990s. Throughout his career in Pittsburgh, Wolfson was active as a member and officer of the local chapter of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Friends and family will be invited to a private memorial celebration to be conducted later this Spring. In lieu of flowers or cards, donations in memory of "Bob Wilson" may be made to the Dan Mallinger Scholarship Fund C/O AFTRA, 625 Stanwix St., Suite 2007, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Arrangements were entrusted to the GABAUER - MATTER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, INC., 1133 Church Street, Ambridge.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Apr. 30, 2015