- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2006

Alwyn James, 77, VOA broadcaster

Alwyn James, a longtime broadcaster for Voice of America (VOA), died of cancer May 2 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville. He was 77.

Mr. James was born Feb. 6, 1929, in Cleveland and lived in Rockville from 1984 until his death.

He grew up in Lakewood, Ohio, and attended Lakewood High School and Western Reserve University (now known as Case Western Reserve University) before taking flight training in the Air Force.

Mr. James began his radio career in Ohio as an engineer, before working as a broadcaster in the 1960s and 1970s at several commercial radio stations in Cleveland.

In 1964, he worked at the station that sponsored the 1964 Beatles concert at Cleveland’s Public Hall and appeared on stage during the concert with his fellow disc jockeys, introducing the band to thousands of screaming fans.

Mr. James then worked as an announcer for radio stations that played middle-of-the-road contemporary, easy listening and big-band music before moving to the D.C. area in 1984.

He worked as a newscaster and engineer in VOA’s central newsroom before becoming editor and host of “Daybreak Africa,” a daily news show that included weather forecasts for 23 African cities.

In 1991, he was voted favorite announcer by a Cameroon fan club that ranked him No. 1 over European announcers whose programs also targeted African countries.

Mr. James also did freelance voice-overs and appeared on camera in local and national television commercials and industrial films.

He retired from the federal government in 2003.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Bernadette James of Rockville; and daughters Susan James of Derwood and Patricia Briggs of Rockville.

He was buried May 11 at All Saints Cemetery in Northfield, Ohio.

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society, 11331 Amherst Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20902.

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