Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy birthday, Cliff Levine

Tomorrow marks my father’s 86th birthday. How can this be? He’s not that old. He still attends classes, travels, surfs the net, and is on Facebook (although he's not sure why). He has a natural curiosity and zest for life that makes him far younger than his years. And when he was young, he had a maturity far greater than his years. He was a parent in his early 20’s. I think back to myself at that age and I was a complete idiot. Feeding a plant was too much responsibility. Yet he raised a family.

He's pictured above with his granddaughter, Annie. He took her out to lunch for her birthday.

I could spend three paragraphs telling you about his career – for years he was the sales manager of KABC radio in Los Angeles and then the General Manager of WLS radio in Chicago. He broke sales records, mentored many of today’s broadcasting titans, yada yada. But more important, his colleagues and co-workers loved him. He was (and is) collaborative, respectful, creative, positive, and fair. All the admirable qualities politicians say they have but of course not a single one does.

If you're looking for a role model, he's your guy. In the market for an idol? Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood combined can't touch him.

Happy birthday, Dad.  I love you.  

20 comments:

Dan Ball said...

Your dad reminds me of Patrick Macnee. Ken, is it a coincidence you wrote for a character named Cliff?

Happy birthday, Mr. Cliff!

Kevin C. said...

I remember he was very happily married to your mother, but I suspect he would be okay if Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood combined to touch him.

Larry Asher said...

You two certainly got the "good hair" gene

Covarr said...

It's a little known fact that both Cliff Levine and Cliff Clavin were named after the 1994 film Clifford.

bhaner said...

Beautiful. Happy Birthday, Cliff.

Pete Grossman said...

Outstanding tribute. Always happy to hear about great dads.

Great Big Radio Guy said...

This is the hilarious tree the acorn came from. Happy birthday, Cliff. Proud to know you and everyone you're responsible for.

An (is my actual name) said...

What a great photo, and a lovely celebration of your dad. Happy Birthday, Mr. Levine!

Tim W. said...

Plis, he bears a striking resemblance to the maitre'd in Almost Perfect.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

I've often wondered, but have Jews discovered the fountain of youth? I mean just look at Joan Rivers... Don Rickles... and of course, Abe Vigoda, you'd think they be reaching 200 by now. What's their secret? How do they live so long? Why don't they do a sitcom where Don Rickles and Abe Vigoda share an apartment? That'd be hilarious!

Brule Eagan said...

Birthday greetings to Mr. Levine, Ken. He looks just grand. We have something in common. He used to run WLS, and I used to listen to it.

Wendy M Grossman said...

wait a minute. I remember that guy. He was at th SITCOM ROOM claiming to be a network guy with notes. An imposter!

happy birthday.

wg

Bob Summers said...

Ken,

If Annie and your dad need to make a few extra dollars, I think they could get work modeling as the sample photos in the frames.

Unknown said...

Ken your Dad was always "CLASS" in the the
radio business

Unknown said...

roger carroll Ken your Dad was always "CLASS"in the radio business

Mister Charlie said...

NOW I know where you got your radio roots from. Cool.

Breadbaker said...

Zei gezunt to the entire Levine family.

I'm dying to know your dad's Hebrew name, since Cliff was such an unusual name for a Jew born in the 20s

Corey said...

To Breadbaker: Before the NAVY made it offical, Cliff's given name was Calman Kolman Levine.

Corey said...

But he was always know as Cliff....

Anonymous said...

Clifford looks GOOD for his age. I always think Ken looks very young in his pictures. He must get it from his dad. Julie