Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Herb Kent  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: 1929 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Kent is a native Chicagoan.

Biographical and Professional Information

Kent is an urban radio pioneer. To many Chicagoans, Kent, known as "The Cool Gent", the “King of the Dusties,” and the “Honorary Mayor of Bronzeville,”. He has informed and entertained radio listeners over the last 70+ years on his long running weekly radio show.Today, Kent hosts two highly rated shows on WVAZ-FM. In 1995, Kent was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting’s Radio Hall of Fame. During his radio career, Kent worked at stations such as WVON, WJJD, and more, interviewing many of today’s music legends, including Duke Ellington, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Dianna Ross, and Marvin Gaye. In 2009, the Guinness World Records certified Herb Kent as the longest tenured deejay, having at that time spent 66 years on the airwaves in Chicago. He ventured into local television in the late 1990s as host of a popular dance show, ''Steppin at Club Seven'', later to be renamed ''The New Dance Club''. Kent is a contributing writer for ''N’DIGO'' magazine. His autobiography is the ''The Cool Gent''.

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