Posted: 5:53 pm Saturday, April 12th, 2014

WSB colleagues mourn Capt. Herb Emory’s passing 

By Rodney Ho

Capt. Herb Emory passed away Saturday, April 12, 2014 of a heart attack. He was a radio personality and traffic guy in Atlanta for more than three decades, notably at 94Q and WSB Radio. CREDIT: WSB

Capt. Herb Emory passed away Saturday, April 12, 2014 of a heart attack. He was a radio personality and traffic guy in Atlanta for more than three decades, notably at 94Q and WSB Radio. CREDIT: WSB

Capt. Herb Emory, the venerable News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB radio traffic guy, passed away Saturday of a heart attack. He was 61.

He died at 3:30 p.m. at WellStar Douglas Hospital after helping motorists involved in a traffic accident in Douglas County.  More details here.

Emory, a North Carolina native, was an Atlanta fixture at several Atlanta radio stations over more than four decades, including 22-plus years at WSB.

UPDATE: Visitation will be Tuesday at the Jones-Wynn Funeral Home, 2189 Midway Road in Douglasville, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Funeral services are still pending.

UPDATE #2: I just received this info if you want to honor his memory:

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Captain Herb Emory may be made to the Douglas County Animal Shelter, 8700 Hospital Drive, Douglasville, GA 30134 http://www.eventbrite.com/e/donation-in-honor-and-memory-of-captain-herb-emory-registration-9364175501 or A Gift of Love Services, 3870 Longview Drive, Douglasville, GA 30135 http://www.agiftofloveservices.org Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.jones-wynn.com. Jones-Wynn Funeral Home & Crematory of Douglasville is in charge of arrangements.

A public celebration of his life will be held Saturday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta. (Directions here.)

His former radio colleagues cited his passion for radio, NASCAR and community involvement. He spent many hours a week in a helicopter hovering over metro Atlanta’s frustrating traffic with his chipper, empathetic and distinctly Southern voice. “Oh, my achin’ I-20 toe!” he might say.

“He sounded like sweet tea, baseball – and traffic,” said Jeff Hullinger, the 11 Alive newcaster who worked at WSB radio from 2007 to 2009.

Condace Pressley, assistant program director for the news station, said she was “stunned. I’m genuinely shaken. He lived what he did. He always wanted to do more.”

Emory had recently hosted a recent Traffic Trooper luncheon for about 50 traffic reporting volunteers in the WSB headquarters cafeteria. “He made sure everyone in that room left with a prize,” she said. “A small way to thank them for what they do.”

She said Emory hosted more charity events than any other WSB personality by a long shot. She had asked him recently for his calendar and counted 83 personal appearances in 2013 alone.  For years, he held annual Toys for Tots fundraisers.

Clark Howard, on the air Saturday two hours after Emory’s death, said, “He died of a heart attack, which is so ironic. This was a man who had more heart than anyone who I’ve ever had the privilege to know.”

Howard, his voice breaking, dubbed him “a good man, a great man. He was never deceptive, always enthusiastic and full of love. He died doing the kind of thing he would have wanted to do. It wouldn’t matter for Herb if it was Christmas Day, New Year’s day, any day. He loved what he did.”

Howard, in a separate interview, said to Emory, doing traffic was not work. “Even when he was not working, he was still working,” he said.

Gary McKee, the former morning host who worked with Emory at WQXI and 94Q throughout the 1980s, helped get Emory his job at WSB in 1991. “It didn’t matter if he was at a truck stop on I-75 in South Georgia or the Governor’s Ball, he was the same. He was a unique mix of talent and humbleness – and great to work with.”

“I did traffic reports for eight years before Herb came over,” said his colleague Scott Slade, the news man for 23 years at WSB, on WSB Saturday evening on air. “That guy took me to school the first week. He turned it into an art form.”

“I never saw him tired or despondent – at least publicly,” Slade added. “He’s had personal tragedies, losing his son and so many other things. But he always came back with the idea of being a servant, a public servant.”

“He never took himself seriously but took his job seriously,” said Sean Hannity, the syndicated talks how host who is heard on WSB and called into the station Saturday evening to reminisce about Emory.

Neal Boortz, the former WSB host who retired last year, also called in and cracked, “Even if you wake up in the middle of the night, only Capt. Herb could find you a better route to the bathroom.”

“We lost not only a colleague but we lost a friend,” said Herman Cain, the late-morning host on WSB, on air. “It’s one of those tragic things that happens in life that the next day in our life is not promised to any of us… It’s a loss for all of us.”

Emory was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2008 and hosted a weekly NASCAR show on WSB on weekends with his wife Karen for 18 years until 2011. His last Twitter filing this morning was about NASCAR.

According to the Channel 2 Action News story, Emory said he earned the title of captain when before his first broadcast on WSB, the manager told him to introduce himself as Colonel Herb Emory. After figuring out that it was too hard to say, he was given the name Captain Herb Emory instead.

You can read his WSB bio here.

In 2010, the Douglasville TV station interviewed him:

 

34 comments
AtlantaRUNNER
AtlantaRUNNER

My prayers are with his family and friends. While I never met Captain Herb in person, I grew up hearing his voice every weekday morning on the way to school and work. His calm and collected voice kept me reassured during my 9 hour commute home during our snow traffic disaster this winter (and what a great Santa Clause!)

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

See, this is how Jesus became so popular after his death. Too many elevated his worth to society, which in turn increased his popularity and feats after his death. Fast forward two thousand years....Give or take a couple hundred, and we celebrate his death and resurrection by telling our children a giant bunny rabbit hid chocolate eggs in the middle of the night.....


I'm the crazy one?


It's just traffic. 

netradiojock
netradiojock

@Hemmorid_Sufferer_2...For what it's worth, it is not easy to do traffic reports for radio and TV.  It takes a special skill to any type of news radio.  Captain Herb is an icon in this city due to his longevity and his induction into the GA Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Atlanta lost it's second great traffic reporter with the first being Keith Kalland. 

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

Sad day


I liken Captain Herb to Guy Sharp - an Atlantan fixture that you know when you heard his voice in the morning all was right with the world. Not necessarily the traffic - but the world. 

GingerKirby-Marsh
GingerKirby-Marsh

Capt Herb you will be missed very much! Listened to you for years, but you were much more than that!! I will never forget you walking into our home bringing food last August the day we buried my mom, and you brought a smile to my dad's face. You were always part of the family! RIP Capt Herb.

skippy78
skippy78

Captain Herb had creased earlobes. This is a tell tale sign of potential heart problems. Do a Google search on this. RIP Captain.

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

I don't get it. How can anyone miss this?  All he did was read traffic reports. Who needs traffic reports anyway. My phone can do that and I don't have to endure the hillbilly themed hyperbole this person gave us. 


Stop treating him like a hero and treat him like an ordinary man. That's what he was. 

tomhouck
tomhouck

Hard to replace. An Icon who was so good, your thought he was part of your family who was giving you directions. In my car while I'm not a fan of WSB talk shows, I would tune in at the top and bottom of the hour to hear Herb. My brother and friend I will miss you.

BigAintheBigA
BigAintheBigA

Such an icon. Thank you, Cap'n Herb. We will miss you. I will miss your voice.

jenjack
jenjack

My heart is broken. I listen so much that it is almost like I lost a member of my family.

BannedPoster
BannedPoster

@Hemmorid_Sufferer_2 Sounds like you have a bad case of Hemmorids of the mouth.  Keep trolling loser, one day the karma train will catch up with you. 

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

@Delusionaldog  Guy Sharp was the moron who told people Procter & Gamble were devil worshipers and buying their products contributed to Satan. He was sued by P & G, but settled out of court and somehow kept his job. 


I neither hated Herb, nor cared for him. To my knowledge, he NEVER did what Guy Sharp did. 


You may want to retract your statement. 

Ultraman8
Ultraman8

@Hemmorid_Sufferer_2  go back to NAACP liberal land you hemorrhoid. Capt. Herb helped millions not only on the air but off the air with charities.  Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, visiting sick kids in the hospitals, etc. He did more for GA than most people.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

@Hemmorid_Sufferer_2 Hey tough guy.  Herb died of a heart attack while helping people in a car accident which makes him a hero to me no matter what he did in his traffic reporting career.  People like you that seek out forums like these just to stir things up are absolutely pathetic.

PorchPicker
PorchPicker

@Hemmorid_Sufferer_2  Of course you don't get it!  You know absolutely nothing. You don't know how much his name meant to the  charities he supported...you don't know how much his name meant to the Marines for his annual Toys for Tots event.... whenever he needed music for an event, we were one of the bands he called and we got to see first hand how he worked with kids, with special needs folks, with cancer survivors....he was not an ordinary man...he was in fact a hero to many....so all I can say to you is...shut up...fade away and let us celebrate this wonderful human being.Edit (in 6 minutes)

tazmom411
tazmom411

@Hemmorid_Sufferer_2 , didn't your mother teach you not to say anything if you can't say something nice?!?!

Captain Herb was a really good human being and you don't have to make ridiculous comments just to attempt to get conflict started. It's quite sad and I feel sorry for you. ANYWAY, Capt'n Herb... RIP my friend you will be missed greatly! " Oh my aching I-20 toe...."

noshiotstainforme
noshiotstainforme

@Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

"all he did was read traffic reports"...  so says the ordinary boil on the azz of society --- to compare his impact on the lives of many in Atlanta to your sordid and useless post is like comparing the bounty of a great meal to an annoying, excrement covered sore.

In the end, Herb Emory helped thousands of us avoid major roadblocks on the streets of Atlanta (along with COUNTLESS other charitable efforts when he was not on the job) - but alas, no "ordinary" man will ever be able to help us avoid puss-filled, useless bumps like you. go F yerself.

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

@Ultraman8 @Hemmorid_Sufferer_2  Good for him.....A lot of people contribute and work for those charities too......Including me. That's not my point. The role of traffic reporter is over stated. Hell, the Simpsons make fun of that role. 



Dlde
Dlde

I suppose he helped by telling them the trouble spots and giving them alternatives. And instead of just reading it off some screen and making it boring, he added his own brand of humor. Thankfully I don't have to fight my way through horrible traffic to downtown every day but I guess all the folks paying tribute to Capt. Herb appreciated his style. But the main thing is they all appreciated the man for everything else he did and the kind of person he was. You are reducing him down to someone who reads traffic reports off a screen when he was so much more than that.

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

@Dlde  How did he help people navigate through traffic? I believe he did that by reading off a computer screen, and before that, paper. 

Dlde
Dlde

The problem is you said "all he did was read traffic reports" which is just a portion of who Capt. Herb was and what he did. Besides helping people navigate thought Atlanta's nightmarish traffic, he cared about others and worked tirelessly in the community. I don't know that anyone said he was a hero but everyone said he was a wonderful man. If they want to pay tribute and share their grief, then why do you care? We should all strive to make a difference and hope to leave our world a better place.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

@Hemmorid_Sufferer_2  Keep it real.  Like anyone here had a snowball's chance of convincing you of anything outside your narrow set of preconceived notions.