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Columbus › Mayor › James Edward “Eddie” Saunders
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James Edward “Eddie” Saunders made Columbus his home in 1937. In 1944, he produced the radio program “Swanee Hour” for the sick and shut-ins; he then continued to serve the community with her “Sermons and Songs” radio program. “Sermons and Songs,” the longest running religious program in the country started in 1948, when Saunders became the first black disc jockey in Columbus, Ohio. He was the creator and producer of “Eddie Saunders Presents,” a religious television program that aired for more than twenty years.
Mr. Saunders is known as the “Dean of Central Ohio Broadcasting” because for more than fifty years he responded to the needs of the people. His peers recognize him as an “authority” on African-American radio programming and history. In 1949, “Eddie” received his highly treasured international recognition, the “Outstanding negroes in the U.S.” award from the National Urban League. In 1962, he touched the lives of people of all ages when he started the Eddie Saunders Burial Fund to provide Christian burials for children of the less fortunate. James “Eddie” Saunders was inducted into The Disc Jockey Hall of Fame and the Ohio State Senior Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1989, the City of Columbus renamed Maryland Park to Saunders Park in his honor.