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Ralph Collier, 91, Radio Host
Ralph Collier, 91, whose smooth-as-silk voice and patrician good looks made him seem as notable as many of the stars he interviewed over a long Philly radio career, died Jan. 29.
The urbane Collier enjoyed keeping busy, penning a regular travel column almost until his time of death for the Main Line Times.
His love of travel extended to his working for WRTI-FM, delivering travel stories there until 2011, following a long stint at WFLN-FM.
Indeed, he was perhaps best known for his work at WFLN-FM, as host of a program in which he profiled the best and the brightest in Hollywood and Washington. That role, featuring his familiar resonant voice, ended 25 years ago.
It dovetailed with another position he was happy to take: For 15 years, beginning in 1975, he served as top man with the Campbell Soup Tureen Museum and toured extensively with the collection.
Born Ralph Kisch in Berlin, he and his parents — his father an American; mother, German — fled anti-Semitism there in 1933, settling in the United States.
After World War II, in which he was an Army enlisted man who was stationed in Europe with the Fifth Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company, Collier got into the radio and TV business, eventually moving here from New York for jobs at WCAU and then WFLN.
He also worked in public relations on behalf of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Collier is survived by his wife, Birtan, and a sister, Gabrielle Elitov.
Memorial contributions can be made to: the Morris Animal Refuge, 1242 Lombard St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147.