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Howard Grafman

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Howard Grafman Obituary
Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, FM Broadcasting Pioneer Howard Grafman, a pioneer in the early days of FM radio and the Founder of Century Broadcasting passed away on August 17 after a long illness in Pacific Palisades, California. He was 89. Born in Chicago, he spent his early teen years with his brother Sheldon Grafman at the Allendale School for boys. Subsequently, he served in the US Armed Forces Radio service at the end of WW II in Germany. After graduation from Northwestern University School of Speech he began his media career selling syndicated films. In 1964 he founded Century Broadcasting in Chicago with an initial investment of $20,000 and bought his first radio station, KSHE in St. Louis. Mr. Grafman was among the first to see the opportunity of owning major market FM stations, then available for much less than existing AM stations. Under his leadership Century bought and operated stations in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, and other major markets. With an initial investment of $20,000 he saw the company grow to be worth an estimated $50 million by the mid 80's. "Howard was brilliant, well-read, accomplished and yet incredibly humble and always grounded" stated Gerald Weber, his longtime lawyer and friend. "He was one the most giving and sharing people I've ever known." "Howard was a mentor and someone I looked up to both in life and in business" stated Tom Huth, owner of Huth Broadcasting. He was a wonderful husband to Paulette and father to Tom." "Howard was a wonderful broadcaster and an even better person," stated Jeff Smulyan, Chairmen of Emmis Communications. "I valued his friendship very much." In 1996 with his wife Paulette, he formed Pacific Coast Communications and operated a station in Santa Barbara, California. He is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Paulette, his son Thomas Williams, his nephews Allan Grafman (Beth) David Grafman (Lisa) Michael Grafman (Alla) and his niece Carol Brown (Seth). Services will be held at 12:30pm on Tuesday, August 23 in the TaNaCh Chapel at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, California. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish Federation of Chicago, the Allendale Association in Lake Villa, Illinois or Northwestern University School of Speech.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication from Aug. 20 to Aug. 21, 2016
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