Detroit Radio Icon + Broadcast School Founder Specs Howard Dead at 96
A radio broadcaster who has helped shape the lives of many TV and radio personalities across Michigan has passed away. Jerry Liebman - a.k.a. Specs Howard was 96 years old.
Liebman's daughter Alisa Zee made the announcement on Saturday (9/3), saying that her father had "completed his journey here on Earth" earlier that day.
From Radio DJ to Broadcast School Entrepreneur
Mr. Liebman's career began in Pennsylvania. According to the Detroit Free Press, he began his radio career shortly after he graduated from Allegheny college. From there, he spent some time as a Top-40 disc jockey, before relocating to Detroit.
He adopted the on-air name Specs Howard - a tribute to his fondness for the type of glasses he wore - sometime in the 1950s.
Howard moved his family to Detroit in 1967, accepting a position at WXYZ-AM. After just a few years on the air in the Motor City, Howard founded the Specs Howard School of Broadcasting.
His daughter tells the Detroit News that his decision to open the Specs Howard school was born from his love of the broadcasting business.
"Dad decided that he didn't want to be middle-aged rock & roll DJ but he loved the business so much he wanted to help others achieve their life's dreams and goals," Zee said.
Shaping the Lives of Michigan Broadcasters
The Specs Howard School of Broadcasting (which later became the Specs Howard School of Media Arts) is where many radio and TV broadcasters began their career. Banana 101.5's Tony Labrie is a graduate of the school, as are many people whose careers have taken them to major markets like Detroit and beyond.