Dori Monson, the Puget Sound region’s longtime conservative radio host from “the mean streets of Ballard,” died suddenly Saturday night at 61, in a Seattle hospital, according to KIRO Newsradio.
In addition to his highly rated three-hour show each weekday, he was part of the Seahawks radio broadcast team and local sports.
KIRO described him as a “longtime watchdog of government and social issues” and said the station is working to create on-air tributes.
Monson attended the University of Washington, and worked at KING-TV and KING Radio before joining KIRO in the early 1990s.
His energetic weekday show from noon to 3 p.m. regularly featured state politicians of both parties and a snappy review of news headlines he called “the fastest 15.” He was a persistent critic of Sound Transit and the Highway 99 tunnel. On any given afternoon, Monson’s show could be heard from boomboxes and parked vans at neighborhood housing construction sites.
In 2016, Monson coached the Shorecrest High School girls team to its first state title. He called that championship run “other than family stuff, probably the most exhilarating life experience I’ve had.” But he was also averaging a 75-hour workweek, he said.
Along the way, he was yanked from his show in 2021 for 2½ weeks, for a tweet about birth certificates that mocked transgender people. In the recent election cycle, Monson’s show provided a warm welcome to Joe Kent, a far-right candidate for Congress in Southwest Washington, who denied the 2020 presidential election results.
Despite health issues in recent years, Monson enjoyed deep-sea fishing with colleagues and playing pickleball with his family, the station said. He leaves behind a wife and three adult daughters.