Dallas veteran DJ Russ Martin was found dead in his Frisco home on February 27; he was 60 years old.
According to a police report, Frisco police responded to a call at Martin’s residence in the 6300 block of Douglas Avenue in Frisco, after a friend found him unconscious. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene; the cause of death has not yet been determined, but a crime was not suspected.
Martin, who was born Russell Dale Martin on October 4, 1960 and grew up in Pleasant Grove, was a Dallas radio personality for more than 30 years. Rose to fame in the ’80s after joining KEGL 97.1 rock station “The Eagle,” where he did the morning driving schedule after The Howard Stern Show left the station in 1997.
He subsequently hosted The Russ Martin Show on KLLI Live 105.3 in Dallas until 2008, when KLLI switched to sports, then returned to the Eagle in 2010 to do the weekday afternoon show on The Eagle.
Martin also worked for the Satellite Music Network and worked part time for Z-Rock.
Jeff Skin Wade, the half of the Ben & Skin Show that airs Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m., shared a thoughtful memorial, saying:
“We are saddened by the passing of radio legend Russ Martin. Russ was a hilarious, beloved, and larger-than-life broadcasting pioneer in DFW for many years. When he didn’t make us all laugh, he showed great heart while working. tirelessly in our community to support first responders and their families when they needed it most. We were fortunate to work alongside one of the most influential radio hosts in DFW history. Our condolences to his family and friends, as well as for your fellow-hosts and thousands of fiercely loyal RMS listeners. “
Martin was a controversial figure, dubbed a “crash athlete,” who stood up for animals and contributed to charitable causes, especially for first responders, including a foundation that raised money for fallen police and firefighters. He was also arrested for assault on a girlfriend in 2008 and was the victim of an armed robbery in 2015.
A huge car fan, he had a collection of legendary cars that included the Gran Torino from Starsky and hutch, General Lee of Dukes of Hazzardand a Batmobile.
The Eagle asked fans to share their memories on Twitter.
“It is with great regret that we announce the passing of 97.1 The Eagle’s Russ Martin,” the radio station tweeted. “We will miss him deeply and send our sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time. We would love to hear your favorite memory of Russ Martin below.”
“I used to listen to his show while driving home from work, and when Russ shed a tear it made me laugh so hard that I was afraid of going off the road.” saying a fan.
Other saying“He was the talented and comedic part of Dallas Radio. He did a lot for the community with his work with animals and Police & Fire.”
“I was in tune every day for 5 years on my way home from work,” saying one. “I was so excited to get my first car when I was 18 and just hearing him joke about things. It definitely made my hour-long drive so much more bearable. Rest in peace, Russ.”