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Broadcasting legend Carter B. Smith dies

Longtime long-time Bay Area radio personality Carter Blakemore Smith died Monday after a battle with a brain tumor. He was 74.

Known on the air as Carter B. Smith, he got his start as an intern on KSAN-AM (1450) in the 1950s before joining Berkeley’s KRE (then 1400 AM and 102.9 FM) and KSFR (then 94.9 FM) a few years later. He parlayed his experience into a role as sidekick, foil and substitute for Don Sherwood at KSFO. In all, he worked three separate stints at KSFO over the years, according to his biography at the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.

Among Carter’s greatest accomplishments was his effort in 1982 to publicize the need to restore San Francisco’s landmark cable cars, the bio said. In addition to taking an 18-hour marathon ride on “Cable Car 68” to raise funds for the restoration effort, he appeared on radio stations from coast-to-coast (and around the world via shortwave) to increase awareness of the venture. His interests were varied and wide-ranging, and included aviation history and ham radio (Carter’s amateur license was K6CWM).

Always a listener favorite, he later moved on to KNBR, KFRC (in its Magic 61 incarnation) and KABL.

Smith was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2007 and here are some of his airchecks.

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