Pinky Kravitz, a longtime New Jersey radio broadcaster and tireless Atlantic City booster, died Saturday. He was 88.
Kravitz had heart surgery in May, when he retired after 59 years on the air. He returned to the hospital in August and more recently was in a care center, Longport Media President Dave Coskey said.
Kravitz had continuously hosted "Pinky's Corner" on WOND-AM 1400 since 1958. Coskey said Kravitz became instantly identifiable with Atlantic City, South Jersey and the station.
"Pinky may be leaving our air physically, but he will always possess a special place here at WOND, and in the hearts of his many listeners throughout South Jersey," Coskey said in August when announcing that Kravitz would not be returning to the airwaves.
Kravitz began his career in 1956, hosting a live call-in program on WLDB-AM, now 1490 WBSS. Two years later, he joined WOND.
He also hosted a weekly television program, "WMGM presents Pinky!" for many years on WMGM TV-40, and for years wrote columns for a variety of publications, most recently for The Press of Atlantic City.
"Pinky had a media following like no one else in this region," Coskey said in an email Saturday. "He also gave many broadcasters their start in the business — and that legacy will live on for many, many years."
He was widely known as "Mr. Atlantic City" for his constant promotion of the region, and it wasn't unusual for letters to arrive in the mail addressed simply, "Pinky, Atlantic City, N.J."
Kravitz never missed a day for illness until he needed a substitute in May after being hospitalized on an emergency basis. His unexpected absence from the airwaves that day made national headlines.