Ed Burrows, former Michigan Radio station manager, dies at 94

Nov 21, 2011

Edwin G. Burrows who was Michigan Radio's station manager from 1948-1970 passed away yesterday at the age of 94.

Burrows was one of the leaders involved in securing federal funding for public radio through the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Current.org has more on the interesting history of how radio was included in that legislation.

Below is the obituary from the family.

E.G. Burrows (“Ed”), one-time resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan and familiar voice of Michigan Radio, passed away Sunday evening, November 20, in Edmonds, Washington, where he resided for many, many years.  Ed is survived by his wife of 39 years, Beth Elpern Burrows, by three sons from an earlier marriage (David John, Daniel William, and Edwin Gwynne) and by five grandchildren (Matthew Grant, Katherine Tracy, Margaret Elizabeth, Steven David, and Dylan Mitchell).

Born in Dallas, Texas in 1917, Ed attended Yale (B.A.) and the University of Michigan (M.A.). Class poet at Yale and Hopwood Award winner at Michigan, Ed will be most familiar to listeners of public radio as the voice of books by radio. He managed Radio Stations WUOM and WVGR, from 1948-1970, helped charter the radio division National Educational Radio (of National Educational Radio Broadcasters), was chairman and member of the board of network advisors for National Association of Educational Broadcasters, and was one of the movers responsible for the inclusion of public radio in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Over the years, he held many other positions in public broadcasting, including a stint as director of the National Center for Audio Experimentation at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His radio programs won many awards. He retired in 1982.

Ed was a prolific and well-published poet. His first book, The Arctic Tern and Other poems (1957) was a finalist for the National Book Award. It was followed by several other books, chapbooks, plays, interviews, and individual publications in hundreds of poetry journals. He was also an avid birdwatcher.

Ed asked that there be no ceremonies in connection with his death. If people wished to remember him, he suggested that they support their local poets.