A public memorial will be held for E. Steven Collins, a respected radio personality in Philadelphia and member of the Radio One family. He was nicknamed “The Un-official Mayor of Philadelphia.” Collins held a legacy of being a positive influence and beacon of change through his segment called “Philly Speaks.” He served as director of urban marketing and external relations for Radio One 100.3 FM. For thirty-five years, Collins hosted and produced one of the east coast region’s most popular radio talk shows.
Collins passed away suddenly from a heart attack on Monday, September 9, 2013. He was 58 years old.
Collins served on the board of several prominent organizations in Philadelphia: the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Urban League of Philadelphia, the Multicultural Affairs Congress and the Marian Anderson Awards Association. He was appointed chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy by Mayor Michael Nutter.
E. Steven Collins was a native of West Philadelphia. Each year, he helped to plan the annual “Philly’s Men Are Cookin'” event, sponsored by the Ivy Legacy Foundation. He coordinated the annual Black Greek picnic in Philadelphia, Virginia Beach and Long Island, along with Unity Week in Fairmount Park and Unity Day on the Parkway. The events would attract millions of people. The beloved radio jock was part of a delegation of Concerned Black Men of Philadelphia, which former President Ronald Reagan honored in a White House ceremony in 1985.
Not just a talent of radio and media, the leader of Philadelphia’s concerned community served as either producer or host of events for the Philadelphia Business Journal; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association; The Urban League of Philadelphia; The Free Library of Philadelphia, United Negro College Fund; Drexel University; Lincoln University, the NAACP, The Anti-Defamation League; The Barnes Foundation, The Congressional Black Caucus and others.
Nationally, E. Steven Collins was tapped for appearances on television shows like Chris Mathews, the MSNBC network, CNN and HLN. He was also a guest on “Hardball With Chris Mathews” for the 2008 Presidential National coverage.
The Temple University graduate Collins lead the marketing effort to increase African American fan participation with the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team from 2008 to 2011.
Collins also was the driving force behind the successful Back-To-School and Men’s Only events designed to increase parental involvement for the Philadelphia School District in 2009 and 2011.
Collins’ memorial is set for September 21, 2013 from noon to 3 p.m. at Sharon Baptist Church at 3955 Conshohocken Ave. Mayor Nutter, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, and Radio One founder Catherine Hughes are expected to attend. E. Steven Collins is survived by his wife, Lisa Duhart-Collins and two sons, Rashid and Langston Collins.