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Remembering Pete Fornatale

Award-winning disk jockey, rock historian, author and long time friend of WhyHunger Pete Fornatale, the host of Mixed Bag on WFUV and a New York radio icon for more than 40 years, died Thursday. His family announced his death at age 66 and a private funeral mass is planned. WFUV (90.7 FM, offered an on-air celebration of his life and career on Saturday, May 5. You can listen here

We remember Pete as a dedicated WhyHunger Board member, Hungerthon founder & beloved friend. 

Pete Fornatale 2001 honoree with Mark Chernoff (WFAN) 2009 honoree and Bill Ayres, WhyHunger Executive Director

A Message from Bill Ayres, Pete’s Hungerthon co-host, dear friend and executive director of WhyHunger:

Dear Friends, 

It is with deep sorrow that I tell you of the death of my friend and partner for 45 years Pete Fornatale. Pete was an important force for WhyHunger from its founding. He introduced me to Tom Chapin who introduced me to Harry Chapin, which led to the organization's founding. Pete also introduced Harry and me to Mel Karmazin in 1975 when Mel was the GM of WNEW-FM and from that meeting we began Hungerthons. Pete and I co- hosted many Hungerthons and concerts at the UN and many other venues. We also wrote two books together and were guests on one another’s shows over the years.

Without Pete there may not have been a WhyHunger or Hungerthons.  We owe him a great deal.

Pete was a consummate radio pro. He was my first partner in radio and I learned a great deal from him. So much good came through Pete through the radio and WhyHunger that he was not even aware of. So many lives were touched through the magic of radio and Pete’s friendly manner and his persuasive way to convince people to give money to a cause he believed in. My condolences and good wishes to his family and many friends.

Pete, may you have a peaceful journey into the Mystery of Unconditional Love.

- Bill Ayres 

To read Bill's eulogy, click here.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that a donation be made in Pete Fornatale’s memory.