The Old Philosopher
Clint Formby passed away July 31, 2010 at the age of 86. His funeral service was held on the 62nd anniversary of KPAN's first day of broadcast, when his was the first voice on the AM station.
Johnny Clinton Formby was born
Clint began college at Texas Tech upon high
school graduation, but then enlisted in the US Army. He served as staff
sergeant and medic in US Army, attached to the 235th
stateside and re-enrolled at
While at college, he worked during the summer of 1948 to help his
uncle Marshall Formby construct KPAN AM in
in college, he met Margaret Clark, who was the first Miss Texas Tech. They
courted and were married
also began a daily radio commentary in October, 1955 on KPAN called the
“Day-by-Day Philosopher”, which was broadcast at
six days a week. “My little program”,
as he called it, continued for nearly 55 years until the day before his
death, with 17,160 consecutive broadcasts. Clint believed it is the
longest-running radio broadcast by an individual in the
became involved in the growing community of
served his alma mater in a number of capacities. He was a member of the
University’s Board of Regents for 12 years and served as chairman. He
was involved in the work and lobbying of the legislature to establish a
medical school and school of law at Texas Tech. He served for years as a
board member and then president of Texas Tech Ex-Students Association, now
Texas Tech Alumni. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech
University. He served as a board member and then chairman of the
Clint was a
leader in the broadcast industry at the state and national level. He was
one of dozens of small-market radio owners who made the Texas Association
of Broadcasters viable in the 1960s, and went on to serve on the board of
directors and as president of TAB. He has been named both Broadcaster of
the Year (1994) and Pioneer Broadcaster (1979) by that state organization.
He also served as the small-market radio representative on the board of
the National Association of Broadcasts, and was chairman of the NAB Radio
Board. He served six years as a member of the corporate board of the
Associated Press, and was president of Associated Press Broadcasters. He
served 16 years as a board member for Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI),
one of three major music-licensing firms in the
Margaret made many close friends on those various boards, and also had the
opportunity to travel across the globe. Trips included an AP trip to
unique in several ways, a few of which can be quantified. He was the only
person to ever appear on the cover of Texas
Highways magazine, which set off a minor furor that Clint very much
enjoyed. He was the only single person to have held the offices of Texas
Tech student body president, Board of Regents chairman, and president of
the Ex-Students Association.
Clint was a
dedicated Texas Tech sports fan and held season football tickets since the
1950s, first in section 106 then in section 6 at Jones Stadium. He
actually lived and believed in the line from the Matador
Song…..”Strive for honor, evermore, long live the Matador.” He
loved everything red and black.
insatiable curiosity and was a voracious reader, subscribing to four daily
newspaper and numerous magazines and periodicals. He watched TV well into
the night, and many of his daily radio programs were based on something he
had seen or read or heard that deserved further discussion.
diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998, but underwent radiation therapy
and recovered and gave a running account of the disease and treatment on
his radio show. His frank and open dialog resulted in two Texas Media
Awards from the American Cancer Society in 1999. Ultimately another
incurable cancer, multiple myeloma, was detected in 2005.
people and loved to hear their story and had a way of making anyone feel
as if he were really, truly interested in their conversation – which he
was. His daily trips to the local banks and post office highlighted his
Margaret was mother to their children and Clint’s main cheerleader.
After the kids were grown, Margaret was instrumental in establishing the
National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and
Chip has worked at KPAN since 1978 and became general manager in 1994.
Since 2003, Clint, Chip and Chip’s sons Jonathan and Lane have all worked at the
his four children, Chip Formby of Hereford and wife Lisa, Ben Formby of
New York City, Marshall Formby of San Antonio and wife Betty, and Scott
Formby of New York City and wife Kathy; four grandchildren, Jonathan and
Lane Formby of Hereford and Alison and Lauren Formby of San Antonio, and
his aunt Sharleen Formby Rhodes of Plainview. He was preceded in death by
his wife, his parents, and a daughter, Linda Kay.
Clint Formby concluded his broadcast career with 17,160 consecutive programs of the Day-By-Day Philosopher , a daily commentary at 7:45am that was first broadcast on KPAN-AM October 10, 1955. It ended July 30, 2010, the day before he passed away at age 86. It is the longest-running daily radio broadcast by an individual in America. The Old Philosopher was featured on Texas Country Reporter in the fall of 2009, and on NBC's TODAY show December 29, 2007 (click below to view the segment).
Front-page article on November 30, 2006 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The plaque at the door of the Clint Formby classroom at the Mass Comm building at Texas Tech University. Pictured with Clint is the Dean of the College of Mass Communications, Dr. Jerry Hudson.
Cover Photo, 1996 Day One at KPAN - August 4, 1948