As a longtime radio icon in Philadelphia hosting 94.1 WIP, Edward Gudonis, better known by fans as Big Daddy Graham, carved out a niche of his own in the industry. By mixing sports commentary with quick wit and humor, he became beloved by listeners for over two decades in his role on WIP — largely becoming the face of his network during that time.
Sadly, news broke on Sep. 9, 2021, that Big Daddy Graham had passed away at the age of 68, leaving countless fans and coworkers mourning the loss of their beloved sportscaster and comedian. So, what was Big Daddy Graham's cause of death? Here's what we know about the situation so far.
What was Big Daddy Graham's cause of death? Details are still emerging surrounding his passing.
News of Big Daddy Graham's passing broke in the early hours of Sep. 9, 2021, as revealed by his longtime cohost Angelo Cataldi during his morning radio show.
"WIP lost one of its best people, and this city lost one of its cherished, most talented entertainers," the host said at the top of his show. "We all here at WIP are devastated by the news … we lost one of the greats."
Although neither Angelo nor anyone else close to the host reveal Big Daddy's cause of death, the former insinuated that it had to do with prior health struggles that the comedian and sports commentator faced over the last few years.
Per ABC6, Angelo explained that Big Daddy had beaten throat cancer in the past. However, in 2019, he was diagnosed with a blood clot on his spine that resulted in paralysis from the waist down.
The late personality's cohost said that Big Daddy wasn't ever able to fully recover from these circumstances, culminating in his passing at just 68 years old.
Despite Angelo's statement on the radio show, no official coroner report or confirmation from his family has been shared as of yet to corroborate his claims.
In the wake of his passing, countless friends and fans took to social media to commemorate Big Daddy Graham's life.
Once Angelo shared the news of Big Daddy's death, fans and friends took to Twitter to share their feelings about the loss and how profoundly his life affected them throughout the 20-plus years he spent on the air.
Fellow sportscaster Tim Kelly wrote, "I’m distraught to learn of the passing of Big Daddy Graham. He was the first show I ever produced at WIP (I was thrown into the fire) and the first one that ever gave me a chance to co-host. I have so many great memories working with him. RIP."
ABC6 Philadelphia host Karen Rogers shared, "I'm so sorry about the passing of Big Daddy Graham. He was a guest so often on our programming shows. His light and laughter will be missed."
Another devout fan chimed in with their emotional take on his death, "Damn RIP Big Daddy Graham. I used to call into his overnight show when I was like 13 years old, three times a week. His producer found out I wasn’t 18 and wouldn’t put me on anymore. I emailed BDG and he just said 'Use a different name, kid.'"