Bob Rogers: Sydney radio legend dies at the age of 97 as tributes flock in from devastated fans

Radio legend Bob Rogers has died at the age of 97.

The Australian DJ and radio broadcaster passed away at his home surrounded by his family, with tributes flocking in from devastated fans.

Bob, who lived in Mosman, is survived by his devoted wife of 74 years, Jerry, and his four daughters. 

During his 78 years on Sydney airwaves, Bob carved out a hugely successful radio career and memorably presented Australia’s first Top 40 show back in 1958.

In a huge career highlight, he was also sent to London in 1964 to join The Beatles as they made their way Down Under for their one and only Australian tour. 

Radio legend Bob Rogers has died at the age of 97

Before his retirement in October 2020, Bob had presented the six-hour Saturday night Reminiscing program for more than 20 years on Sydney radio station 2CH.

Fans took to social media to pay tribute to Bob as they shared their devastation over the sad news of his passing.

They wrote: ‘I am sad to hear that Radio Legend Bob Rogers has passed away. He was 97.

‘He started his radio career during the 2nd world war and remarkably was still going up until a few years ago. I remember him on 3UZ in the 1970s’;

‘Australian radio legend Bob Rogers has died at the ripe old age of 97. His illustrious career saw him still broadcasting into his nineties. I admired him enormously. He and John Laws were my radio heroes. Vale Bob Rogers’;

‘The legendary Bob Rogers. Australia’s first DJ in the halcyon top 40 days. Vale’;

‘Bob Rogers: my condolences to his families and to all Australians!’

Bob grew up in a two-bedroom home in country Victoria and went on to start his broadcasting career during World War Two.

He began his career as a panel operator for 3XY in Melbourne in 1942 and went on to work six days a week as a radio announcer in Hobart.

After helming Australia’s first Top 40 show on 2UE from 1958 until 1962, Bob became a nationally known name in radio and carved out a hugely successful career. 

He was selected to represent 2SM on The Beatles tour around Australia and recorded a whole string of radio interviews with them in 1964.

During the life-changing tour, Bob even took his two eldest daughters to meet them during their travels.

Bob’s youngest daughter Skye, who is a commercial artist, was known as the ‘Beatles baby’ because she was conceived just after his travels with the famous band.

Skye told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2013: ‘They called me the Beatles baby. I was conceived just after Bob travelled around Australasia with the Beatles [in 1964], the tour that changed his life. 

‘By the time I came along, the fourth girl, I think Bob was hoping for a boy.’

Bob added: I had been hoping for a son, I couldn’t believe we had a fourth girl. The day after she was born, I was on Tonight with Don Lane and he congratulated me and I said, ‘After four daughters, Skye’s the limit.’ That is the name of her company now.’

The radio legend joined 2CH radio in November 1995 and went on to present on the channel with his hugely popular Reminiscing program for more than 20 years.

Bob was on Australian airwaves for almost 80 years before his retirement from 2CH four years ago, which came after he suffered a minor stroke.

He said at the time of his retirement: ‘I have absolutely loved my time in this industry – I have met so many wonderful people and built such a treasured connection with my listeners and team, but at my age (93 years) I feel it’s the perfect time to say goodbye and hand over the microphone to my fellow presenters.’