File #: 210161    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 2/25/2021 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 3/4/2021
Title: Commemorating the life and legacy of William 'Cody' Anderson, a legendary figure in talk radio, a pioneering leader in African-American owned radio and media, and a positive voice in the Black community.
Sponsors: Council President Clarke, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember O'Neill, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Thomas
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 21016100, 2. Signature21016100


Commemorating the life and legacy of William ‘Cody’ Anderson, a legendary figure in talk radio, a pioneering leader in African-American owned radio and media, and a positive voice in the Black community.



WHEREAS, William ‘Cody’ Anderson was born in Denison, Texas, in 1942, but spent his formative years in Chicago, Illinois; and


WHEREAS, Cody Anderson demonstrated some of his many talents early on, as a star basketball player for the Central State University Marauders. Anderson was inducted into the Marauders’ Hall of Fame in 1991, as a star on what was described at the time as one of the greatest college basketball teams Ohio has known.  Anderson earned his degree from Central State University in 1965; and


WHEREAS, After graduating from college, Cody Anderson moved to Philadelphia.  Anderson soon found his calling in radio when he launched his career as vice president and general manager of Philadelphia’s WDAS radio. Anderson used his position at WDAS to become actively involved in the civil rights movement in the mid 1960’s. Anderson assisted Georgie Woods to unite the community after the riots, empowered the station to advocate for voter registration for people of color and helped raise funds for victims of the MOVE bombing; and


WHEREAS, Bilal Qayyum, founder and president of the Father’s Day Rally Committee, upon learning of Anderson’s passing, noted in the Philadelphia Inquirer story February 21, 2021, “Back then, Black radio was the voice of the community. We didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t have social media. If you wanted to know what was happening in the Black community, you listened to WDAS under Cody”; and


WHEREAS, Continuing in radio, Anderson subsequently purchased and operated station WHAT-1340 AM, where he instituted a Black talk-radio format; and


WHEREAS, Anderson developed into an iconic leading voice in the Black community, joining WURD radio, by delivering consistent, constructive, and confident journalism for over 20 years; and 


WHEREAS, Anderson joined WURD, the only African-American owned and operated talk radio station in Pennsylvania, as its first general manager. Anderson co-hosted the weekly Electric Magazine show using his low-key style as a catalyst for change, encouraging political activism in the community; and


WHEREAS, Anderson remained actively involved in his duties, co-hosting biweekly Saturday morning shows on WURD with City Council President Clarke and Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., as well as co-hosting the weekly Laborer’s Live show on Friday afternoons; and


WHEREAS, Anderson served as a mentor and role model to up and coming radio hosts and executives, including Patty Jackson, who hosts the The Patty Jackson Show on WDAS and Karen Warrington, the former news director. Warrington was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer February 21, 2021 as saying, “He gave me almost free rein as a news director. We were able tell the stories that were not being told in the majority media”; and


WHEREAS, Outside of his radio presence, Anderson continued to serve the community, working tirelessly with area prisons, speaking with inmates and giving them a chance to tell their stories, exemplifying his belief that everybody deserves to be heard; and


WHEREAS, Anderson was also committed to service beyond the borders of Philadelphia with his philanthropic contributions to Hurricane Katrina victims and vulnerable groups in Senegal, Africa where he was recognized as an honorary Chief; and


WHEREAS, Anderson is survived by his wife Verna, his two sons Bill and Kyle and his daughter Teresa; now, therefore, be it


RESOLVED, THAT THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, Commemorates the contributions made by such a strong and influential voice in the Black community and mourns the loss of Cody Anderson’s leadership in Black talk-radio.