Born In: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Art Bell was an American broadcaster and author who was known as “The King of Late Night Radio” and was renowned for his radio talk show ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ which was aired in the US and Canada. He earned an amateur radio operator’s license at the age of thirteen and soon qualified for an ‘Amateur Extra Class’ license, with the call sign ‘W6OBB.’ His license class is considered to be the top-most ‘US Federation Communications Commission’ amateur license. While serving as a medic in the ‘US Air Force’ during the Vietnam War, he operated a pirate radio station that aired anti-war music from ‘Amarillo Air Force Base.’ After returning to the US, he worked for ‘KIDD,’ where he started as a rock music DJ and moved on to conduct radio talk shows. He soon became famous for anchoring talks on topics such as gunrunning, the occult, UFOs, and conspiracy theories on his talk show ‘Dreamland.’ He founded the Pahrump-based radio station ‘KNYE 95.1 FM,’ from where he produced and aired ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ which became one of the most popular radio shows in the late 1980s, and the early 1990s. He got married four times and went through some turbulent times, which affected his professional life. He posted his final retirement message, on ‘Facebook,’ in December 2015.
Also Known As: Arthur William Bell, III
Died At Age: 72
Spouse/Ex-: Airyn Ruiz Bell (2006–his death), Ramona Lee Hayes Bell (1991–2006; her death), Sachiko Toguchi Bell Pontius (1965–1968; divorced), Vickie L. Baker Bell (1981–1991; divorced)
father: Arthur William Bell, Jr.
mother: Jane Lee Gumaer Bell
children: Arthur William Bell, Asia Rayne Bell, Lisa Minei Bell, Vincent Pontius Bell
Born Country: United States
place of death: Pahrump, Nevada, U.S.
U.S. State: North Carolina
education: Harvard University
As a child, he was intrigued by the radio. He earned an amateur radio operator’s license at the age of thirteen, with his first call sign, ‘KN3JOX.’ He upgraded to the call sign ‘K3JOX’ and later qualified for an ‘Amateur Extra Class’ license, which is considered to be the top-most ‘US Federation Communications Commission’ amateur license. His call sign was ‘W6OBB.’
He founded the Pahrump-based radio station ‘KNYE 95.1 FM,’ which had its broadcasting studio and transmitter close to his home in Nye County, Nevada. His show ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ which was produced in his studio, became one of the most popular radio shows in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. It was aired on more than 500 stations and had around 15 million listeners.
In October 1998, Bell announced his sudden retirement from his show ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ due to a threat to his family. He was off air for about two weeks and returned when the matter was resolved. He went off air again, in April 2000, when his son was sexually assaulted by his teacher. He later returned to the show in February 2001, but did not want to talk about his personal life. The show was hosted by Mike Siegel in his absence.
In October 2002, he left the regular show and started hosting only weekend shows due to medical problems. In January 2003, Bell was replaced by George Noory as the weekday host of the show. Bell started a new night show called ‘Art Bell’s Dark Matter’ on ‘Sirius XM’s ‘Indie Talk Channel’ in September 2013. The show ran for six weeks. In July 2015, he started the show ‘Midnight in the Desert,’ which was available online via ‘Tuneln.’
In April 2006, he surprised his fans by relocating to the Philippines and getting married to Airyn Ruiz, who was just twenty-one years old at that time. He subsequently returned to the US but faced difficulties in getting a passport for his wife, who was a Filipino citizen. They had two children and lived together in the US till his death.
Art Bell began suffering from health problems at the age of 70, and suffered a serious attack of pneumonia in 2016. He passed away on April 13, 2018, at his home in Pahrump, Nevada, at the age of 72.
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