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Legendary Radio Host Doug Banks Passes Away at Age 57

Doug Banks SOURCE: The Doug Banks Show Twitter
Doug Banks SOURCE: The Doug Banks Show Twitter

Iconic radio host Doug Banks passed away Monday at the age of 57.

The cause of death was not initially released, but it was later learned that Banks passed away from complications of diabetes. He had been fighting the disease for some time.

Banks was a host at many stations, including V-103, WCGI and WVAZ in Chicago. ABC Radio Network then approached him with the opportunity to host a nationally syndicated show called “190 North.” He last appeared on the show in the summer of 2014.

News of the radio personality’s death spread quickly in the entertainment community, and a number of celebrities took to social media to send their condolences.

“Rest in peace, Doug Banks. A true radio legend. You will be missed,” Wendy Williams tweeted.

Actors Chris Rock and Gabrielle Union also expressed their grief over Banks’ untimely death.

“So sad to hear of the passing of Doug Banks,” Union wrote. “He was such a sweet, considerate man & always very supportive. Truly will be missed. RIP.”

Banks’ passing comes on the heels of another celebrity death. Just last month, legendary rapper Phife Dawg of the group A Tribe Called Quest, also died from complications of diabetes. He was only 45. The sudden passing of these two icons sheds a light on how this disease disproportionately affects Black Americans.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 13.2 percent of African-Americans over the age of 20 are diagnosed with diabetes. African-Americans are also 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. Effective management of diabetes helps reduce the risk, but oftentimes people aren’t even aware they have the disease.

Banks ultimately died from kidney failure, a common complication of diabetes for African-Americans. Blindness, heart attacks and lower limb amputation are other complications.

“Too often people are diagnosed late or when they are having a problem,” said Dr. LaVerne Curry, a primary care physician at Advocate Health Care’s office on the Southeast Side of Chicago. “I find many people don’t get it until something serious happens and at that point there are multiple organs involved. The sad thing is we have all the mechanisms to help them. Access to medical care is not an excuse anymore.”

Banks leaves behind two college-age daughters and two adult children.

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