The redoubtable conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who led a movement that for decades successfully thwarted liberal and feminist causes, including the Equal Rights Amendment, and helped uber-conservative candidates win elections, has died. She was 92.

Mrs. Schlafly died Monday afternoon at her Ladue home, surrounded by her family. She had been battling cancer, said daughter Anne Cori.

Mrs. Schlafly was a self-described “lifetime fulltime volunteer in public policymaking.” Although she held three degrees, including a law degree, and worked her entire life, albeit most of it without pay, she championed the role of full-time homemaker as a woman’s highest calling.

You know his voice ... but did you know his life? We remember KCUR's Steve Bell, who died last week doing one of the things he loved: getting ready for the afternoon newscast.

From a broadcasting career that began in 1958 to a stint as a psychologist — plus his love of animals and bluegrass music — we celebrate the life of our friend and a cherished voice to many.


KCUR 89.3

Yesterday, we lost an esteemed colleague and friend here at KCUR. Steve Bell, our afternoon newscaster, collapsed on the job and passed away in the afternoon of July 18. We take some time to share memories of Steve.


  • Dan Verbeck, retired KCUR reporter
  • Patty Cahill, former KCUR general manager
KCUR 89.3

Steve Bell, a mainstay of radio broadcasting in Kansas City for four decades, died Monday. He was 77.

Bell collapsed while doing what he loved most – working in the KCUR newsroom and preparing for the day’s afternoon newscast.

“We are in shock. Steve was such an integral part of KCUR,” said Donna Vestal, the station’s director of content strategy. “He was a proud, accomplished journalist who had a tremendous influence on all of us. He will be missed every day.”

The great writer Pat Conroy died March 4 at the age of 70. The author of “The Great Santini,” among many others, spoke with Steve Kraske on Up To Date in November of 2013. In remembrance of the late author, we bring you that conversation. 

Kansas City’s Steve Metzler was a business leader, a nonprofit supporter, and a patron of the arts, but phrases don’t begin to describe the impact he had on the community.

On this edition of Up To Date guest host Brian Ellison shares memories with those whose lives were touched by Metzler and talks with Steve's long-time partner, Brian Williams. 

Kathy Disney

Members of Kansas City's arts, LGBT and non-profit organizations are in deep mourning over the death of Stephen Metzler, widely described as "a pillar of the community" who suffered a stroke and died Tuesday at St. Luke's Hospital. He was 66. 

Reverend Nelson “Fuzzy” Thompson, one of Kansas City’s leading civil rights leaders, died last weekend. Thompson was a long time president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City. For years, he helped stage the annual citywide commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the largest such celebrations in the nation.

Courtesy of the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

Updated, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday:

Two of the four rabbis killed in a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday had deep ties to the Kansas City Jewish community. 

Rabbi Kalman Levine was part of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy’s first graduating class in 1976. And Rabbi Mosheh Twersky’s nephew teaches at the Jewish school in Overland Park, Kan. 

The two men died Tuesday in Jerusalem. 

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Lynda Callon, longtime director of the Community Action Center in Kansas City's Westside died Sunday after a very short illness.

Callon was a fierce advocate for Latino day workers and others in the community. She pushed to create a haven where day workers could get food and clothing as they gathered under the I-35 bridge waiting for work.

Courtesy / The Kemper family

R. Crosby Kemper Jr., banker, philanthropist, and giant of Kansas City civic life, died last week at his friend's home in Indian Wells, Calif. He was 86.

Kemper was born in 1927 in Kansas City, the only son of R. Crosby Kemper Sr. and Enid Jackson Kemper.

Throughout his active life, many of his preoccupations reflected his family's legacy  — a long line of Kansas City aristocrats and leaders involved in banking, agriculture and politics. 

A banker's life

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Kansas City banker and philanthropist, R. Crosby Kemper Jr. has died at the age of 86.

Kemper was best known for leading Kansas City-based UMB Financial Corp. He died Thursday in Indian Wells, Calif.

His son R. Crosby Kemper III says he was there enjoying the great weather over the holidays.

Kemper Jr. was born in Kansas City on Feb. 22, 1927 to R. Crosby Kemper Sr. and Enid Jackson Kemper. He worked in banking for more than 50 years, starting at his father's City National Bank as a night transit clerk and eventually becoming president in 1959.

The late comedian George Burns once said: "Every morning when I get up, I read the obituary page. If my name's not there, I shave."

Kansas City, MO –

Jazz greats, stellar newsmen and punk icons were just a few of the memorable folks that we lost in 2010.

Ruth Rhoden Delivered "Just Jazz"

Daniel Schorr, 'Talk Of The Nation' Founding Father

Kansas City, Missouri – Representative Karen McCarthy has died in an Alzheimer's Unit in Johnson County.

McCarthy's family revealed last year the former legislator and Congresswoman was battling a rare form of Alzheimer's disease. The family also said McCarthy had suffered from bipolar disorder for many years, as well.

Kansas City, MO – Judge Cordell Meeks, Jr. died suddenly at his home this week. He was 63. Meeks, a 26-year veteran of the Wyandotte County District Court, was respected by his colleagues and friends not only as a prodigious member of the bench, but also as a generous contributor of time and talent to many civic causes. With us to talk about the legacy of Cordell Meeks is Nick Tomasic, District Attorney for Wyandotte County for 32 years.