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Grady Cole

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Grady Cole (1906-1979) was one of WBT's most popular personalities in the early days of the radio. From 1931 until his retirement in 1961 his radio program was heard throughout the southeast. His popularity with listeners made him such a well known figure that it was once estimated that seventy percent of the Charlotte radio audience listened to his noon news and farm reports and that eight out of ten people in the WBT listening area instantly recognized his voice.

Grady Cole was born in Montgomery County, NC. His family moved to Charlotte when he was a teenager. He attended Major J.G. Baird's School for Boys in Charlotte. Grady Cole began his media career in the newspaper business. He first worked for the Associated Press. In 1929 he went to work for the Charlotte News as a reporter. The News provided a five-minute newscast to WBT. Cole was assigned to the report. He was offered and accepted a job with the station in 1930. He remained with WBT until his retirement thirty years later.

Grady Cole was active in civic affairs, championing the cause of the rural population and local charities. On June 8, 1987, Charlotte's Park Center was renamed Grady Cole Center in recognition of his long standing popularity and service to the community.