Lawyer, broadcaster Ron Rosenbaum dead at 68

In a country full of talented radio broadcasters, there were few who were better at it than Ron Rosenbaum, 68, who died on Sunday morning.

ron_rosenbaumRosenbaum, who as an attorney represented many of the Twin Cities media elite (including Tom Barnard), parlayed his legal acumen into successful radio stints at WCCO, KSTP, KFAN and, finally, into one of the better podcasts — Holding Court— which emphasized Rosenbaum’s ability. He could detect B.S. with the best of them. He was also a character with an enormous heart.

His partner, Lucy Quinlivan, announced his death on Facebook.

I’m deeply sorry to announce that Ron, my longtime partner and recent husband, died this morning from complications of multiple myeloma. He died at home, as he had wished, and his son, Nicholas, and I are grateful for the help we received from Our Lady of Peace community hospice program and many friends and relatives who offered support and comfort these past several weeks.

Ron was a rare and special character. His wonderful sense of humor was never exercised at the expense of other people’s vulnerabilities, and he had a well-developed sense of justice and fairness that had little to do with whether something was legal.

Ron collected and made fast, lifelong friends with the most interesting people from every phase of his life. Many of the people closest to him, including me, met and became friends through him, a fact that delighted him and made him proud.

Arrangements for a memorial service are pending.

Thank you all for your love and concern for Ron.


I didn’t know Rosenbaum until he called me one day without warning. I’d written about my bout with Meniere’s Disease, an affliction we shared, and my concern that it would ruin my radio career and keep me from flying airplanes.

Meniere’s can be an incapacitating illness, so he decided to have the vestibular system in his ear removed. It’d leave him without hearing, but there were too many things he wanted to do to be disabled by the vertigo that is the hallmark of Meniere’s.

He said he found a support group for the disease once. But he dropped it quickly. Too much complaining, he said.

He checked in fairly regular since then to see how I was doing. I was negligent in returning the favor. If I had, I would’ve known the melanoma multiple myeloma had hit hard and fast.

He had started a TV segment on Fox9 last year with Dan Barreiro, the KFAN radio host whose broadcast segments with Rosenbaum were some of local radio’s most authentic broadcasts. His show on KFAN’s previous frequency — 1130 AM — was canceled in 2012 in a Clear Channel cost-cutting spree.

Related: An Ode To Rosenbaum (Dan Barreiro)