Tom Barnard is a popular radio host in the United States. His show, the KQRS Morning Show, has gained international popularity. He hosts the show from his studio in a basement in Minneapolis. He also has a podcast with his wife, Kathryn Brandt. They also have a son and daughter.
Before he started his career in radio, Barnard worked as a voice-over artist. His voice can be heard on several mega brands including Gatorade and Home Depot. He was also a booth announcer for KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities. In the 1980s, Barnard was one of the top five voice-over artists in America.
He became a local favorite in the Twin Cities and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. In 2006, the National Association of Broadcasters honored him with the Marconi Award for his excellence in broadcasting.
The Barnard family lived in several different houses throughout their youth. Tom’s mother, Theophila, was a deeply religious waitress who smoked a cigarette when she was at work. She was often a lone parent. As a result of her responsibilities, Tom and his siblings were raised almost entirely by their mother. It was not until her death that Barnard and his siblings began forming a bond.
Tom Barnard and his siblings grew up in a rough area of North Minneapolis. The family moved 43 times. At one point, Tom slept in a dresser drawer.
The family moved to a home in Golden Valley when Tom was fifteen. Tom and his brother Tom O’Brien were close after their mother died, but they didn’t see each other for nearly a year. The brothers formed a special bond because of the attic beating that their father, Robert, inflicted on their mother. Their mother’s death left them with a hole in their heart. After her death, they felt protective of each other and sought counseling.
Barnard’s father, Robert, is a schizophrenic who frequently drank alcohol. He also had a mental disorder, which led to frequent evacuations for treatment. However, he never disappeared from the Barnard family after his trip to a mental hospital.
When Tom was a child, his father would beat him with a pipe. Barnard remembers that his dad never forgiven him for that. But he was not able to completely forgo his father’s mental illness, so he never fully forgives him.
Barnard’s mom was a waitress at many of the neighborhood diners. He was never allowed to play sports, but his dad and his older sister Bobbi, who was in high school, believed he was a better athlete than their mother.
In his early years at radio, Barnard adopted an anti-authority persona. He studied people’s behaviors through Richard Pryor albums and listened to the Beatles. This made him a natural fit for the broadcasting industry. During his time at WDGY, he got into screaming matches with Dr. Grady Brock.
On December 21, 2007, the Community Action Against Racism (CAAR) protested Barnard’s show. CAAR organized a boycott of advertisers and received death threats. Ultimately, Barnard and his team negotiated an apology.
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