By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Sep 09, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Eric Von, a longtime leader in black community talk radio, died Thursday at the age of 58.

Cause of death was an apparent heart attack. He had survived a heart attack just one month earlier.

Von was a talk radio host at WNOV-AM (860) radio at the time of his death. He was also the executive producer of the "Precious Lives" series, a regular feature on WUWM-FM (89.7) that examined the deaths of children in the city who had died by gunfire.

Von worked for years, and built his reputation, at WMCS-AM (1290) until that station changed his format.

He had a reputation as a thoughtful commentator on social and political issues and took a leading role in creating conversation in the black community. He was widely known for his ability to have guests of all political persuasions appear on his how, either live or by phone.

I was a guest on his show a number of times, and he was always a gentleman to everyone who called his show.

"I don’t believe people who call a show should have to put up with insults," he told me on more than one occasion. "I want everybody treated with respect."

His morning show Friday was filled with people calling in with tributes, from politicians to average people on the street, an outpouring that reflected his broad range of support and interests.

Von is survived by his wife, Faith Colas. Services are pending.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.