Lin Bremer often ended his segment of “Lin’s Bin” radio articles by saying, “You don’t take anything for granted. It’s great to be alive.”
That was the mantra for years for the host of WXRT-FM (93.1)—who became a household name in Chicago, known for his wit and sense of humor. Countless listeners who have never met Bremer consider him a friend.
Bremer passed away on Sunday at the age of 68.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that we have all lost our best friend. Len Bremer fought cancer as best he could,” fellow host Terry Hemmert wrote in a post Sunday morning. “He passed away early this morning, peacefully, with his wife and son by his side.”
Primer announce This past July, he was taking a break from the station to undergo chemotherapy for prostate cancer. Bremer returned to the air briefly in November, Says Television station WBBM stated that “Radio has been my life.”
Bremer has been with WXRT for over three decades, mostly as a morning DJ until he moved to the mid-2020s.
He is perhaps best known for his “Lin’s Bin” stanzas, which consisted of him answering a listener’s question, blending prose with his encyclopedic knowledge of music and popular culture.
Lin’s Bin was often funny and sometimes serious.
“‘Lin’s Bin’ was so well done, it was a work of art. It was a throwback to the golden age of radio. It will make you laugh out loud. It will make you cry,” said Norm Weiner, who was WXRT’s program director when Bremer hired him in 1984.
These radio articles satisfied the creative yearning of Bremer, who had developed a love of literature in high school. “It’s a creative outlet. There’s no one looking over my shoulder,” Bremmer Tell The Sun-Times in 2018.
Mary Dixon, who worked alongside Bremer as host for 28 years, said: “I think in another life he would have been an English professor. He was a philosophy nerd and an English student at Colgate. But he came at a time when rock and roll was the thing.” New poetry.
Bremer communicated with countless Chicagoans—even though they had never met him in person.
“There’s a reason I’ve heard a few people cry today, saying they feel silly because they didn’t even know him — but they did,” said WXRT host Emma Mack. Bremer’s “connection to you was genuine, positive, genuine, and kind.”
Messages honoring Bremer went viral on social media after his death.
“Lynn Bremer was the voice of Chicago. His voice was unique and a perfect way to start the day,” former mayor and current US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel wrote on Twitter.
“Chicago has lost its best friend,” said US Rep. Mike Quigley Spread.
Bremer, a season ticket holder for the Cubs, had his name displayed on the marquee at Wrigley Field on Sunday.
The Cubs mourn the passing of legendary Chicago radio personality and lifelong Cubs fan Len Bremer.
We send our condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/2SiHRmacxY
– Chicago Cubs January 22, 2023
Bremer was born in Queens, New York, and began his career in radio as a Sunday morning DJ in Albany. The first song he ever played as a professional DJ was “Within You Without You” by the Beatles because “I always felt life flowing through you, but most of all without you,” Bremer He said in 2017.
On that station, he was nicknamed “The Reverend” because he would recite poetry over the song’s introductions. “I would slip into Dylan Thomas or William Wordsworth,” he once said Tell The Sun Times.
Asked who he wanted to meet in Heaven, Bremer said, “Here’s the thing, most of my musical heroes may not be in Heaven, and they might be in Hell’s Episode III.”
Bremmer moved to Chicago in 1984 to be music director at WXRT. He worked behind the scenes until 1990, then worked in radio for a short time in Minneapolis. “I was there for 12 months, had a great time… Then I found out the owner of my radio station was broke. He made things very difficult,” Bremer said.
He returned to WXRT the following year and took Hemmert’s place as the morning DJ.
Bremer once described himself as a “bump player”.
“It’s just not me,” he told the Sun-Times. “The closest I get to a shock is standing up for civil rights or religious freedom. That’s pretty shocking these days.”
Brimmer said he loved the theater, music, and dining scene in Chicago, as V.I interview on WXRT in 2017. “I love eating out in Chicago,” he said. “Whether it’s Italian beef with chili or a 12-course menu in Acadia, I love the culinary scene here.
“And of course the most important thing is the music: from the Chicago blues, from going to Buddy Guy’s Legends, to seeing all the artists who choose Chicago as one of their main stops on their tours,” he said.
Bremer was also fond of sailing on Lake Michigan. “There’s something about that moment when you raise the sails and shut the engine and there’s nothing but the sound of the wind. It’s one of the greatest moments you can have,” he said in the interview.
Brimmer has also been a supporter of the ALS community, serving as a spokesperson for events and fundraisers for nearly three decades. “Lane’s dedication to the ALS community as a spokesperson for the Les Turner ALS Foundation has been legendary.” Andrea Pauls Backmann, CEO of the foundation, said in a statement.
WXRT will celebrate Brehmer’s life on the air Mondays at 10 a.m
“We will keep each other safe during this painful time,” Hemmert wrote. “Lynn wants it. Don’t take anything for granted.”
I just heard about Lyn Bremer. What a wonderful nice guy. I love his music, I love pizza and I love baseball. I always saw him around Wrigley. Always so nice. Terrible news. Rest in peace Lynn. You were all the good things in the world. ❤️🥲 pic.twitter.com/xKPViGHDft
– David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 22, 2023
Like many around Chicagoland today, I’m thinking of my old friend Lyn Bremer. No one has done more for the music and the people of Chicago than Lane. I will miss him very much and send my sympathy to his wife and son. pic.twitter.com/WJDsyJKPmw
– TomDart January 22, 2023
“Lifelong beer expert. General travel enthusiast. Social media buff. Zombie maven. Communicator.”