Dale "The Truckin' Bozo" Sommers, a longtime trucking radio personality, died Friday morning in a Florida hospice. He was 68.
Sommers most recently hosted the Truckin' Bozo show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Eastern time. on Channel 106, "Road Dog Trucking Radio."
Born Bruce Dale Sommers in 1943 in Humboldt, Tenn., he moved to Cincinnati with his family at age 15 and started working at WAEF-AM a year later, in 1959. After radio jobs in Indianapolis, Seattle, San Diego, Miami and Kansas City, he returned to Cincinnati in 1984 to do the overnight show for 20 years on WLW-AM. "The Truckin' Bozo" made national news twice at WLW-AM helping solve crimes.
He retired in April 2004 "due to health concerns," the station announced at the time, and was replaced by his son, Steve. However, he soon reappeared on satellite radio. SiriusXM will air a special commemorative show in his time slot today, hosted by fellow veteran trucking radio host Dave Nemo, who has a morning show on SiriusXM.
Sommers suffered from Addison's Disease and was an insulin-dependent diabetic. He had been hospitalized earlier this year and has been off the air much of this year.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Cox Sommers; children David Sommers, Steve Sommers, Sean Compton, Crystal Sommers, Kevin Sommers, Jason Sommers and Brian Mitchell; 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Watch a profile of Sommers from 1991: