South Philly street block to be renamed in honor of WURD radio founder Dr. Walter P. Lomax

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Dr. Walter Lomax, a Philadelphia physician, tending to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his hotel room bed in Philadelphia, Feb. 10, 1968. (AP Photo)

Dr. Walter Lomax, a Philadelphia physician, tending to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his hotel room bed in Philadelphia, Feb. 10, 1968. (AP Photo)

August 26 is Founder’s Day for Philadelphia radio station WURD. Today, the station will again honor its founder — the late physician, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Dr. Walter P. Lomax Jr. — who died in 2013.

As part of Founders Day 2021, the city of Philadelphia will conduct a ceremonial street renaming at 11 a.m. in honor of Walter Lomax. The 1800 block on Wharton Street will be known as the “Walter P. Lomax, Jr., M.D., Way.” It is the site of his first medical center he opened.

New this year to Founder’s Day is the inaugural WURD Community Impact Awards. WURD CEO Sara Lomax-Reese said these are given to individuals and organizations that embodied the three principles that her father lived by: Health and wellness, economic empowerment for the Black community, and independent media. This year’s winners:

  • Pastor Alyn Waller, senior pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
  • Veronica Hill-Milbourne, president and CEO, Spectrum Health
  • Philly Truce
  • Theatre in the X
  • Kwasa Mathis, morning drive producer and digital media manager, WURD Radio

Lomax-Reese said her father is probably best known for being the founder of WURD radio, which he bought in 2002.

She said her father got into broadcasting because he wanted to ensure that the African American community had a place to be heard in their own voice. “WHAT [radio] was going out of business and there was going to be no Black talk radio in Philadelphia,” said Lomax-Reese. “He got into the media, strictly to empower the Black community in Philadelphia.”

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