Oral Histories LIVE! Featuring: Cary J. Hahn

November 6, 2019

Cary J. Hahn began his 54-year broadcasting career on the campus radio station at Lindenwood College in his hometown of St. Charles, Missouri (20 miles west of St. Louis off I-70).  After radio stints in Lincoln, Nebraska, Jefferson City and Kansas City, Missouri, he came to Iowa in 1979 to be bureau chief for KTVO-TV, Ottumwa-Kirksville.

 

He was the CBS 2 Iowa Traveler from 1983 to 2008, before returning to his first love…radio… as News Director for 93.1 FM &1450 KMRY Radio in Cedar Rapids.

 

Since 2005, he has hosted “Big Band Memories” Sunday afternoons 1 – 3 p.m.  on 88.3 KCCK, Iowa’s jazz station at Kirkwood Community College.

 

In 2006 he was awarded the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s highest honor, the Jack Shelley Award for career achievement.  As the Iowa Traveler, he told the stories of “The Hog Calling Nun”, rode the wing of a 1942 Stearman bi-plane and gave us “Interstate 380 Bowling”, along with thousands of good news stories of every day Iowans, with his credo “not everything is going to heck in a hand basket.”

 

Cary has won awards from the Associated Press, United Press, Iowa Broadcast News Association, Northwest Broadcast News Association, the 2004 Stanley Foundation Global Connections Award, the Iowa Film Award for feature reporting and the Iowa Motion Picture Award for general reporting, and a National Archives Certificate of Appreciation from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum.

 

Cary is a Past President of the Iowa Broadcast News Association (2004-2005), a 25 year co-host at KGAN TV for the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon and cited by Mr. Lewis for his quarter century of supporting the organization. For many years he has been emcee for Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day ceremonies of the Cedar Rapids Metro Area Veteran’s Council.

 

A Vietnam veteran, Cary is quite proud of his four years of service in the Navy (1967-71), broadcasting for the ship’s 3,500 crew members on Armed Forces Radio and Television aboard the USS Hancock aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam and at AFRTS on the island of Kodiak, Alaska.  He was credited by the ship’s captain as a “moral booster” during combat operations  and by the Admiral at Kodiak for providing “much needed information and entertainment.”  This was all pre-satellite media communication.

 

Cary and his wife Jean are St. Louis Cardinal baseball fans.  They love to travel and go to concerts. He also loves the family cats, old movies, books, W.C. Fields, Jack Benny, collects political campaign buttons, records and CD’s of all kinds, and for the past several years has served as the emcee of the annual Glenn Miller Birthplace Society Festival at Clarinda, Iowa each June.

 

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets. 

 

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