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Tejano radio legend Dan Peña passes away at 59

The 25-year KSAB radio morning host passed away on Jan. 5 after a brief illness.

Dan Pena | Photo: Facebook

Dan Pena, a Tejano radio legend with over 40 years in broadcasting, passed away on Wednesday morning (Jan. 5) after a brief illness, according to his family and Corpus Christi radio station KSAB Tejano 99.9 FM. He was 59.

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The news of Peña’s passing was announced by KSAB via social media, “It is with great sadness that we pass along word that our friend, Dan Pena, has gone to be with the Lord. Dan loved his job. He loved his listeners. He loved Tejano music. We will pay tribute to Dan in the coming days. Please keep his family in your prayers.”

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Peña spent 25 years as the morning host at the often top-rated Tejano radio station until health issues forced him to retire this past November.

The South Texas native began his radio career in 1980 at 92.1 KDSI-FM in Alice, Texas, highlighted by his time as host of the top-rated morning show in Corpus Christi at KSAB Tejano 99.9, with 20 of those years with co-host Barbi Leo, who departed in December 2019 to become morning anchor at KIII-TV.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott honored the legendary career of Peña with an official statement of recognition in November. “From the time you began following in your father’s footsteps as a broadcaster and radio personality, listeners across South Texas have tuned in to share your love for music,” he said the statement. “Your voice has left an indelible mark on the Tejano music scene and your dedication to your craft embodies the best of the Lone Star State. Though you will no doubt be missed by your many listeners and fans, I am certain your legacy will not soon be forgotten across South Texas.”

The Tejano broadcaster was honored by the Jim Wells County Commissioners on Dec. 27 for his many years of service to South Texas and to the Tejano music industry.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, January 11, 2022, from 5 till 9 p.m. at Rosas Funeral Home Chapel with a rosary to be held at 7 p.m. that evening. A funeral mass will be celebrated Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Burial to follow at Roberson Collins Cemetery.

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