Pat Lynch, a popular radio show host whose long-running program on Little Rock radio station KARN was the place where politicians and policymakers debated the major issues of the day in the 1980s and 1990s, died Wednesday. He was 70.
Lynch's death was reported in a Facebook post by his wife, Marie.
Born in Mobile, Ala., Lynch worked in radio in Washington state before moving to Arkansas and joining KARN-AM 920 in Little Rock. He worked at KARN from 1983-2000, when he was fired from KARN-AM after a 17-year run. In a 2010 interview, he made no apologies for his biting banter.
“To successfully hold on to a show for as long as I did, you cannot do it by being vanilla,” he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Paper Trails column in 2010. “You have to serve up different flavors. You have to be something different from everything else out there.”
His radio work continued for a time as host of shows on KABZ-FM, 103.7, and Arkansas Priority Radio Network’s KDXE, 1380 AM.
In addition, he wrote a column for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Voices section from September 2000 to August 2011, and he appeared in a Wednesday morning segment on KARK-TV, Channel 4, Little Rock for a time.
He also served for six years on the national board of the ACLU.
Later, he left the broadcasting world.
Lynch, reared a Catholic, became a member of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. He earned a diploma in theological studies from the Anglican School of Ministry in Little Rock.
“When I got into radio," he told the Democrat-Gazette in 2010, "I bought into the whole ‘I am the captain of my own ship, responsible for my own self’ thing. Winning through intimidation was the American culture.”
But Lynch told the Democrat-Gazette he was not happy, saying that the pressure of deadlines and being in the public eye led him to drink heavily and look for a way out of Arkansas.
“Then, I met my wife, Marie, and started drinking less.”
And he started reading the Bible. One verse leapt out: What you meant for evil, God meant for good.
“There it was — all of the back-stabbing, criticism, slamming doors I’d encountered — all that was meant for good.
“I stopped trying to run my own life and save the world. When you start trusting God instead of trying to be the captain of your own ship (which you’re not), you’re able to receive God’s grace and be the dispenser of it.”
“This doesn’t mean I’m no longer a nasty rattlesnake,” he said in 2010. “It just means I’m a nasty rattlesnake who’s one of God’s creatures.”
Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for the full story.