Barry Farber, pioneer of conservative radio, dead at 90

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Barry Farber, a longtime conservative radio host in liberal New York City, died of natural causes Wednesday, a day after turning 90, according to his family.

Farber, who blazed a trail later followed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, was still hosting a digital show for CRN up until last week.

He had recently suffered injuries in a fall, his daughter, Celia Farber, told The Associated Press.

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“He told me recently that his concept of death was ‘going somewhere I’ve never been before, like Finland or Estonia,” his daughter wrote on Twitter. “May God rest his soul.”

In a December 2019 interview for Fox Nation, Sean Hannity described Farber as a friend and shared a favorite Farber quote about America.

“There has never been a country in the history of mankind that has accumulated more power than this country, and abused it less," Hannity recalled Farber saying.

Born in Baltimore and raised in North Carolina, Farber spent his entire radio career in New York City, starting as a producer before hosting his first show for WINS-AM in 1960. Two years later he moved to WOR-AM, The Associated Press reported.

He left the station to launch an unsuccessful mayoral run in 1977, losing to Ed Koch in a field that also included incumbent Mayor Abe Beame, future New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and former U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug, the New York Daily News reported.

Farber then returned to radio with a show on WMCA-AM for 11 years. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2014.

Conservative mayoral candidate Barry Farber thanks supporters at his headquarters, in New York City, Nov. 8, 1977. (Associated Press)

Conservative mayoral candidate Barry Farber thanks supporters at his headquarters, in New York City, Nov. 8, 1977. (Associated Press)

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Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, described Farber as a wordsmith and extraordinary orator.

“He spoke as if he was writing an essay,” Harrison told the AP.

Farber spoke more than 20 languages, including Albanian, Swedish, Finnish and Yiddish, along with French, German, Spanish and Chinese, according to an obituary.

By the time Limbaugh and Hannity became household names, bringing conservative radio to new heights of popularity, Farber was past his peak years. He would joke about “being big in the old days and old in the big days,” Harrison said.

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“I just wish we had started it in my generation,” Farber told Talkers in a 2012 interview, referring to the conservative radio trend. “It never occurred to us.”

He authored several books, including “How to Learn Any Language,” “Making People Talk,” and “How to Not Make the Same Mistake Once.”

Farber was known for ending his show with the phrase, “To be continued."

Fox News’ Yael Halon and The Associated Press contributed to this story.