Report: James 'Radio' Kennedy passes away at age 73
James “Radio” Kennedy, a legend at T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina, and whose story was created into a major film in 2003, has passed away according to multiple reports. He was 73.
Per WYFF, Kennedy passed away early Sunday morning.
Kennedy was associated with T.L. Hanna high school since the mid-1960s. In 1964, he befriended head football coach Harold Jones and he became a fixture at the school, with the football program and in the community.
In 2003, Kennedy’s friendship with Jones and his role with the football team and in the high school was turned into the film Radio in 2003. Cuba Gooding Jr. played the role of “Radio” in the movie.
Former T.L. Hanna High Principal Sheila Hilton wrote a few years ago, “At that time, he was a teenager, with a transistor radio seemingly attached to his ear, who could barely speak and had never learned to read or write. He was nicknamed Radio by the coaches and players. He became a fixture at football practices, standing passively and watching, until one day when he began to mimic the coaches’ signals and tried his hand at yelling out commands. At that point, he could have been labeled a distraction and sent away. But he was not. The coaches embraced him, and as coaches came and went, someone would always take over in caring for him.”
Kennedy was inducted into the T.L. Hanna Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.