S.C. high school legend James ‘Radio’ Kennedy dies, family confirms

Lawrence Kim
December 16, 2019

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) - James "Radio" Kennedy, the man who was a fixture on the sidelines of a SC high school's football games for decades and whose life inspired a Hollywood movie, has died.

James "Radio" Kennedy, a SC high school football legend and the main subject of the 2003 film Radio, has reportedly passed away.

James "Radio" Kennedy, the man whose importance to a SC football team inspired the Hollywood movie "Radio", died early Sunday at the age of 73, T.L. Hanna High School confirmed.

Kennedy earned the nickname "Radio" in the mid-1960s when he began to show up at Hanna's football field with a transistor radio, according to Sheila Hilton, the former principal at Hanna.

James Kennedy, the inspiration for the hit 2003 movie "Radio", died early Sunday in SC after being admitted to hospice, according to reports. At that point, he could have been labeled a distraction and sent away. "The coaches embraced him, and as coaches came and went, someone would always take over in caring for him", Hilton wrote. The cause of his death is not clear.

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 8: James Robert "Radio" Kennedy enters the stadium before the start of the Florida State Seminoles against the Clemson Tigers game on November 8, 2003 at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. "Everybody loved him at the school and anybody he met loved him".

"Radio was the heart and soul of T.L. Hanna for over 50 years, and the impact he made in our community can't be overstated", Kyle Newton, a spokesman for Anderson School District 5, said in a statement Sunday morning.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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