Toronto

Broadcaster Fitzroy Gordon, dead at 65, a 'towering figure' in Toronto

Fitzroy Gordon — the founder of a Toronto-based radio station dedicated to providing Caribbean programming — has died, his family has announced. Mayor John Tory calls Gordon a 'caring citizen' and a 'towering figure in the city.'

G98.7 founder and chief executive a 'caring citizen,' Mayor John Tory says

Fitzroy Gordon — the founder of a Toronto-based radio station dedicated to providing Caribbean programming — died on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, his wife Marvette Gordon said in a statement. (G98.7 FM)

Fitzroy Gordon, the Jamaican-born broadcaster whose death was announced Tuesday evening, is being hailed as a "caring citizen," a leader in the black community and a "towering figure" in Toronto.

Gordon, the founder of Toronto-based radio station dedicated to providing Caribbean programming, died on Tuesday, his wife Marvette Gordon said in a brief statement. He was 65. 

"It is with great sadness that I announce his passing," the statement reads.

"At this time, as you can imagine we are overcome with grief and we would like to thank you for your support, understanding and prayers. We kindly ask, at this time, for patience and understanding during our time of grief."

Fitzroy Gordon launched CKFG-FM (G98.7) in 2011 and hosted a program on he station for many years. (Submitted by Marvette Gordon)

Gordon, who launched CKFG-FM (G98.7) in 2011 and who for many years hosted a program called Grapevine on his radio station, was hospitalized for several weeks back in 2017.

"He suffered a stroke in Sept. 2017 and has had an ongoing health issue since then," his wife told CBC Toronto, adding that her husband died in hospital around 4 a.m. on Tuesday.

A loss for all of Toronto

Toronto Mayor John Tory, responding to Gordon's death, said it was a loss for all of Toronto.

"He was a caring citizen who constantly showed leadership in the black community, but also took a keen, active interest in the advancement of newcomers to Canada and of the City of Toronto as a whole," Tory said in a statement.

"Fitzroy Gordon was a towering figure in our city who brought people together. His was a life of great accomplishment and contribution to our city but a life cut way too short."

Tory said Gordon's radio station became known not only as the radio voice of Toronto's black and Caribbean community, but also a voice that spoke powerfully to urban issues and even to sports like cricket, which is growing in the diverse city.

Gordon left an undeniable legacy

Meanwhile, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said Gordon's contribution to the black and Caribbean communities in the GTA has left an undeniable legacy that will live on.

"Fitzroy's work created a platform for art news and culture unique to the GTA," Brown said.

"The station G98.7 has become a foundation of the community, bringing us together and providing a unique voice to the people in our cities."

 

In 2015 Gordon received a Special Recognition Award from the Jamaica Canadian Association, and in that same year he announced plans to start a Caribbean television station in Canada. Those plans never materialized.

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