January 24, 2012

900 AM WURD issues statement on the death of midday host Fatimah Ali

PHILADELPHIA, PA It is with great pain and sadness that we acknowledge the tragic passing of WURD program host, and veteran journalist and broadcaster, Fatimah Ali.

We have very few details of death at this time. We will share as much information as possible with her audience and the entire WURD family as soon as possible. Of course, we want to be respectful of her family’s needs and wishes right now.

We are preparing a special tribute to Fatimah on her show on Friday. Fatimah’s life was a tribute in and of itself. She was dedicated to social and economic justice for African Americans and dedicated much of her career to addressing these issues and to advancing a progressive agenda. She was a strong voice for education, for those brothers who were incarcerated, for children and women’s rights, for the arts and the preservation of our culture. Her absence leaves a huge gap for those of us who were close to her. She was a good sister, a good woman and a good friend. Our prayers are with her family and children as we remember her life today.

Sara Lomax-Reese, President and General Manager WURD

PABJ Statement on the Passing of Fatimah Ali

The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of veteran journalist Fatimah Ali. Ali, formerly Susan Hughes, died this morning. Ali grew up in Mt. Airy (section of Philadelphia). She worked at various media outlets during her career, including 900AMWURD, WDAS, WHAT, KYW, 1010 WINS (CBS/NYC), WLIB and WBLS-FM (NYC),Power99, Philadelphia Daily News, One Step Away and We Are Black Women Network.

Ali was a PABJ member early in her career. Ali's broadcast coverage of the Dr. Martin Luther King Day last week was noteworthy and struck a chord. Ali was a role model and advocate for womenand the homeless. Ali forged her own path, not only as a journalist, but also a community proponent. She was deeply involved with One Step Away, a unique newspaper published and distributed by the homeless. Ali helped bring a news focus to the paper and served as the development manager.

In a 2010 House for the Homeless article, Ali was quoted, "My mission is to encourage everyone to care about homelessness because so many people are just a paycheck or two away from having the bottom fall out… Not every homeless person is strung out, uneducated or lazy. Plenty of folks just got a bad break, or had banks that took advantage of them." Read more...

Our statement: We are sadden by Ali's passing. We considered it an honor that she had come to like our website and the work we did via our facebook page. We will remember the passion that she brought forth to address issues that affected the community through her career not only as a radio talk show host, but also as a news reporter and columnist. She will be truly missed.

Fatimah Ali was the host of the show “The Real Deal” that aired from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday on 900 AM WURD. The Philadelphia Tribune reported that she was 55 at the time of her death and Ali, spoke of her career beginning in 1981. She last appeared on the airwaves on Monday January 23. Details surrounding her death are currently unavailable.

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