Raymond Royal Marshall, an on-air radio friend to many of his millions of listeners across the United States tuning in to the Neal Boortz Show, died on Saturday.
Hundreds of fans and listeners of the nationally syndicated program logged on to the website of the flagship radio station airing the program on Saturday to express their sense of loss, condolences, and thanks after the announcement Marshall died suddenly after collapsing in his Atlanta home on Saturday morning.
Marshall, 43, is survived by his wife, Annette, and two daughters, Ava and Amira.
WSB radio in Atlanta - where the show was based - ran a special edition of the program on Saturday afternoon. The show is usually heard by over 4.5 million people on 230 stations across the country.
Listeners generally said Marshall, who started working on the program as an engineer just out of college, brought balance to show, according to listener postings on the WSB website.
Lisa, admired Marshall's gentleman quality.
He knew how to stand his ground without being obnoxious, she wrote.
Don was thankful to have heard Marshall, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 1993.
From someone who finds it hard to smile sometimes, Royal made me smile in the morning to start my day. I am grateful to him for that, he wrote.
Marshall was not only an integral part of the program but became more than that to many listeners.
Royal was a friend that I never got to meet, said G. Alford. I can't imagine the loss his family, Neal, (Co-producer) Belinda (Skelton) and the rest of WSB must feel at this time.
Many fans on the board offered their prayers for his family.
Today I cried for a man I never met but looked forward to hearing on the radio each weekday morning, wrote one listener who just used the name Stephanie.
Another listener spoke of the life lessons learned from Marshall.
The things I learned from Royal on the radio was: one, enjoy life; and two, respect others, wrote Lennox Bethel.
Listener David Wisely, who described himself as a white man who had experienced reverse racial prejudice, said Marshall, who was black, transcended racial boundaries.
I am very sad to hear of this loss [of] a man that did not rely on racial status or skin color to become successful in life, he wrote.