For more than 50 years, Mike Colgan’s distinctive voice filled Bay Area airwaves—from headline-grabbing political scandals to national sporting events, Colgan was there.
He retired from journalism in 2020 and moved to Arizona to enjoy a quiet life with his wife, but retirement was cut short.
Colgan, a longtime fixture and icon in local journalism, is now facing the biggest fight of his life. The 75-year-old tripped and broke his neck while taking an afternoon stroll and is now paralyzed from the neck down.
“He’s most worried about burdening the family,” Jody Meeker, Colgan’s daughter, told San José Spotlight. “Our family wants him to have the best quality of life he can have.”
Colgan suffered a major spine injury and while doctors tried to relieve pressure on his spine, he is now a quadriplegic. His family launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs of rehab, at home care, physical therapy and medical equipment. The campaign has raised close to $12,000 as of Tuesday from more than 120 donors. The goal is to raise $500,000.
Colgan was a staple on KCBS radio in San Francisco for 33 years, interviewing notable historical figures like Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. He was a presence at every South Bay news conference, major government meeting and sporting events like the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA championships. Colgan traveled with the then-Oakland Raiders and was on the frontlines when the Golden State Warriors won an NBA title at the Cow Palace in 1975.
Colgan is a father of four and a proud grandfather.
Meeker said her father is in a skilled nursing facility now and there are some “promising” signs for recovery. He’s started to move his feet and right arm.
“Unfortunately, recovery will be a lifelong process for him,” she added. “A long-haul recovery.”
Jennifer Hodges, a journalist who worked with Colgan at KCBS, said he was the reporter who kept everyone laughing at news events.
“He has a hard shell on the outside and a softie on the inside,” she said. “He doesn’t put up with any BS—he’s just a straight shooter which I always loved. ”
At one point, Hodges and Colgan worked for competing radio stations—and Colgan was still quick to lend a hand.
“Mike and I both have worked in radio for decades when you had to carry a big suitcase full of equipment behind you, and on more than a few occasions I’d have equipment failure and be in a bind,” she said. “Despite the fact that he was at a different station than me at the time, he’d always offer up whatever interview he had to save me from a bad work day. Not every reporter would do that in the field. That’s just the type of guy he is.”
Bob Butler, another former KCBS colleague, recalled Colgan’s sense of humor. He hopes the community steps up to support Colgan during the most difficult moment of his life.
“He informed people over the air for decades,” Butler said. “So now people need to pay him back.”
Contact Josh Ram at [email protected] or at @JoshuaWRam on Twitter.
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