Alonzo William (Sen) Kaney

August 19, 1893 - May 23, 1983

Life Summary

Alonzo William Kaney started his life in 1893 in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 19th. He spent his early days studying law at Northwestern University, and dreaming to become a journalist. In his early twenties he fulfilled that dream, and was given a job at KYW broadcasting in Chicago. He moved forward, due the station's "inability to see the broadcasting as more than numbers and profits". After KYW, he joined WGN (later renamed NBC radio) and soon became a lead broadcaster. From NBC he became the face of radio broadcasting in Chicago, and had many very popular and successful broadcasts. He broadcasted for 39 years and retired in 1958. He spent his retirement with family and friends and died in 1983 in Glenview, Illinois.

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(Sen) Kaney Explained

As a young boy Alonzo very much loved by his grandfather. Senator Alonzo Kaney. The senator pampered young Alonzo very often. So much so, that the media started calling the young boy, "The Little Senator". He soon accepted his new nickname as his preferred name and became known as Sen Kaney.

Love Life

On Tuesday July 9 1925, a Chicago local hosted a party and invited all of her long distance friends. One of whom was the heiress, Vera De Jong, from St. Louis. The girls were all having a great time when the hostess asked what everyone wanted to listen to on the radio. Vera quickly replied with," WGN, There's an announcer there that I'm wild about". On the Thursday of that same week the hostess, who knew Sen personally, invited Vera to a dinner party and introduced the two. The next Tuesday, Sen called in sick for work at WGN, and when his boss asked him if he was truly sick, he replied with,"Nah, Married." The two remained married for over 50 years and lived happily with their daughter and three grand children.

Sen Kaney at the Indianapolis 500

The 1924 memorial day 500 mile automobile race in Indianapolis, was the first "Indy 500" to be broadcast on live radio. Sen Kaney was the announcer.

Sen at Wrigley Field

In October of 1924, Sen broadcasted a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. He sat on the roof and fought the bitter and rough wind of the night while also working his radio station. He describes this night in his own words in his later years. "When I did it, I had to stand on the roof of the stadium, holding a flagpole so I wouldn't be blown off, keeping my hat on with one hand, working the control box with my feet, and following the game at the same time."

Sen Retires from NBC

WGN was eventually purchased by NBC and Sen continued on successfully. In 1958 he retired from NBC and received many accolades from his coworkers. He spent his retirement years in Lake Forest with his wife Vera De Jong. He passed away in May of 1983.