News about David Elliott, Longtime WHRB Host

David Elliott in 2015 at WHRB's 75th reunion.

I'm writing to share the sad news that David Elliott passed away Thursday night after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

David Elliott (1942-2020) was incredibly important to the WHRB community, both to the generations of students whom he mentored, and to the listeners who enjoyed his broadcasts. He served in various leadership roles for almost 60 years and his work impacted our station in countless ways. This Harvard Gazette piece published about him last year highlights David's many contributions to WHRB. In addition, these sentiments gathered last year demonstrate how his leadership and dedication inspired and touched the lives of many students and listeners.

I met David when I joined the classical music department of the station as a freshman. I was struck by his attention to detail, his standard for excellence, and his love for the station's community of students and listeners, all of which will continue to motivate the classical music department and the station as a whole for many years to come.

We are deeply saddened by this loss. We are completing funding for a David Elliott Studio, and discussing memorial services – virtual soon, in person later – with David’s family. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to them and to all the members of the WHRB community as we mourn.


Allison Pao ’21, WHRB President

In the coming weeks, WHRB is planning several online and on-air efforts to honor David's legacy. We are looking for 1) written comments on your memories of David Elliott and 2) audio recordings of you sharing some of your comments. To share your thoughts with us, please send your comments and/or your audio recordings to [email protected] with the subject line "David Elliott."

For both written comments and audio recordings, please let us know whether you'd like to remain anonymous or not. For the audio recordings, a voice recording from your phone or laptop mic will suffice.

On December 24th, 8am to 6pm, we will broadcast the David Elliott Memorial Orgy. In memory of David R. Elliott (1942 - 2020), The David Elliott Memorial Orgy weaves together David’s most iconic and beloved moments at WHRB to tell a story of Harvard Radio’s longtime mentor, host, and friend. Drawing from The David Elliott Orgy first broadcast two years ago, this upcoming program highlights some of David’s historic broadcasts and favorite recordings from his collection, and includes tributes and stories told by the WHRB community. This Orgy is a collective effort, pieced together using material from listeners, students, alumni, and the six decades that David Elliott committed to this station. It is as much a celebration of David’s legacy as it is a representation of the community for which he cared so much. As we honor David this December, we also thank each of you for being a part of this community and a piece of David Elliott’s historic life. More details regarding the broadcast will be available on closer to the date.

In lieu of flowers, David Elliott's family asks that donations be sent to WHRB. Please see the Support WHRB page to contribute online or find our mailing address.

The Boston Globe's obituary for David >

The Harvard Crimson's obituary for David >