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February 16, 1917 - February 17, 2019
Lew Martin, 102, of Superior, WI, died February 17, 2019. He was born February 16, 1917 in Superior, WI.
Lew attended McCaskill School at the Superior State Teacher’s College (now University of Wisconsin-Superior) through the 9th grade. He graduated from Central High School in 1936.
Lew started school at Superior State Teacher’s College in the Fall of 1936. After a while he was interested in a career in radio broadcasting.
Lew was hired by WEBC radio to learn all aspects of the radio business. In 1938 he moved to Eau Claire, WI and was working at WEAU Eau Claire. In 1939 he was offered a position in a larger radio market in St. Paul, MN at radio station WMIN.
A few years later he was hired as an announcer for Superior’s local WDSM radio. Lew’s radio career was now expanding to include television at WDSM in Duluth, MN.
Television in the 1950s in the Duluth-Superior market involved only two stations on the air in black and white only. Lew Martin was the anchor on WDSM for 16 years. Lew’s good friend since 1943 was the anchor on KDAL, Earl Henton.
Some of the interviews Lew had conducted during his career include Senator Hubert Humphrey, Duke Ellington, Bronko Nagurski, and the Dionne Quintruplets (from Canada) who christened five warships built in 1943 in Butler Shipyards in Superior. In 1948, Lew rode on a passenger soo line train from Spooner, WI to Superior, WI with President Harry Truman’s Whistle Stops Tours.
In March of 1960, Lew was in the ballroom of the Androy Hotel preparing to interview John Kennedy and his wife, Jackie. Traveling with the Kennedys were family members Rose, Teddy, Bobby; and sisters, Mrs. Peter Lawford and Mrs. Sargent Shriver. Lew noted that Jackie told him how lovely the Wisconsin landscape was and how she had never seen anything like it.
Lew also interviewed Major Richard Ira Bong from Poplar, WI who flew his P-38 plane in WWII. He was America’s “ace of aces”.
During his time at WDSM TV and Radio in the 1960s, Lew would go down to the University of Minnesota to cover all of the home football games for the Gophers involving Big Ten teams.
Lew retired from WDSM Channel 6 in 1985. He then teamed up with Jack McKenna and started Radio Superior- a project involving Superior Telegram archives. The show focuses on The Great Depression and WWII. It is still on KUWS early Friday evenings.
Lew was also on the Douglas County board elected on and off for 12 years starting in 1974. He was a volunteer at the Superior Senior Center. For 26 years, he served on the Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program as a board member and retired from that position in 2016.
Lew was proud to be from Superior and a friend to many. He was also a familiar golden voice of the Northland as a TV news anchor and radio personality.
On October 17, 1942, Lew and the former June Berglund were married and together raised two girls, LuAnn and Linda; and two boys, Steve and Lewis. Lew and June have three grandchildren.
Private services will be held.