Tributes Paid to Phil Valentine, Conservative Talk Radio Host Who Died of COVID

Tributes have been paid to Phil Valentine, the conservative talk radio host who died of COVID-19.

SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, the Nashville radio station where he hosted his self-titled radio show, confirmed Phil Valentine's death on Saturday. He was 61 years old.

Valentine, who was not vaccinated, revealed his COVID diagnosis on July 12 and was hospitalized days later. The host made headlines after his family said he regretted not being supportive of the COVID vaccine, which he was publicly skeptical of. The family urged people to get vaccinated and said the host planned to promote the vaccine after he recovered.

In late July, his brother Mark Valentine said the outspoken presenter's change in stance had encouraged people to get vaccinated.

Born and raised in Nashville, North Carolina, Phil Valentine quit studying law as a young man to pursue a career in radio on the advice of a friend who noticed he had a deep voice. He went on to study broadcasting and held jobs at various stations. He also released several conservative books as well as a documentary. Valentine was also known for opposing the state income tax in Tennessee two decades ago.

After his death on Monday, his brother called him "wonderful" in a Facebook post. Mark Valentine wrote: "It is hard to process losing a best friend and a brother at the same time. Phil was a self-made man. He had many God-given talents that he honed & perfected to create a 'Storybook' life that few can imagine.

"In addition to being an incredible Radio/TV Personality, he was a great singer, songwriter, & author. He also had a brilliant analytical mind & could take the most complicated political issues and reduce them to the point that they became simple. I was his biggest fan & his most fierce defender & advocate.

"Beyond all of his myriad professional accomplishments, his biggest and best legacy was his family."

Dan Mandis, a fellow radio host on SuperTalk, described Phil Valentine as "a great husband, father, friend and broadcaster."

He said: "Working with and knowing Phil was a career and life highlight."

Fox News host Sean Hannity, who interviewed the host and wrote the forewords for two of his books, tweeted on Saturday: "A Dear friend and phenomenal broadcaster Phil Valentine passed away today from Covid 19. My prayers are with him and his entire family tonight.

"As I have said so many times, please take this virus seriously, I have seen the worst of this."

A number of politicians also paid tribute to the radio host on Twitter.

Senator Marsha Blackburn called him a "visionary for the conservative movement" and said he made an "enormous impact on the lives of many Tennesseans."

Senator Bill Hagerty said: "Very sad news for our state! Tennessee has lost a strong conservative voice who will be sorely missed."

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said he had his wife were "deeply saddened by the loss of Phil Valentine and pray for his family as they navigate the difficult days ahead."

Maria and I are deeply saddened by the loss of Phil Valentine and pray for his family as they navigate the difficult days ahead.

— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) August 21, 2021

Tennessee Republican Party chairman Scott Golden said Phil Valentine left behind "a tremendous legacy in the history of conservative talk radio"

Golden said: "His humor, compassion, and dedication were the hallmark of a premier radio host, and most importantly an outstanding person. Tennessee and and our conservative cause was better because of Phil Valentine and I was honored to call him a friend. Please keep his family and friends in your prayers during this time."

Cameron Sexton, Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, said: ".@ValentineShow made a difference in life as a strong conservative voice & leading the fight to stop the state income tax two decades ago. He will be greatly missed by all! Our heartfelt prayers & deepest sympathies go out to the Valentine family & Phil's radio family @997wtn."

.@ValentineShow made a difference in life as a strong conservative voice & leading the fight to stop the state income tax two decades ago. He will be greatly missed by all! Our heartfelt prayers & deepest sympathies go out to the Valentine family & Phil’s radio family @997wtn. https://t.co/xPVtRh2wRa

— Speaker Cameron Sexton (@CSexton25) August 21, 2021
phil valentine covid
Conservative talk show radio host Phil Valentine is pictured on the right. Valentine died of COVID on Saturday. Mark Valentine