July 12, 2017
( July 12, 1939- May 6, 1986)
Mike Hodel would have been 78 today.
My older brother Michael died of lung cancer in 1986, at the relatively young age of- 46. (His early death was the catalyst for my decision to retire from LAPD and “move on.”) Mike had a brilliant mind and was a voracious reader, often reading two books a day throughout his entire life. He wore many hats. He was a writer, radio news reporter, and Sherlock Holmes scholar. One of brother Mike’s proudest moments was receiving investiture into the Baker Street Irregulars Society. (BSI was founded by Christopher Morley in 1934, and fellow members included: U.S. presidents FDR and Harry Truman, science fiction author, Issac Asimov, and mystery writer, Rex Stout, creator of P.I. Nero Wolfe.) In 1980 Mike, along with co-author, Sean Wright, published the novel, Enter The Lion: A Posthumous Memoir of Mycroft Holmes.
Mike’s entire life was dedicated to people and causes. His conduit For The People was through local Los Angeles, listener sponsored FM radio station–KPFK. He loved science-fiction, and his show aired on KPFK as—Mike Hodel’s Hour 25, where, over several decades, he interviewed hundreds of guest authors, from the greatest legends to brand new unknowns.. (His show continues to this day on the Internet, and can be found at- http://www.hour25online.com)
Mike was awarded radio’s prestigious, Golden Mike Award, (no relation) for his 1970s radio coverage of WATERGATE. During his 20 years at KPFK, he was on staff as News Director, Public Affairs Director, and fund-raising administrator. Roy Tuckman, the current host of KPFK’s Something’s Happening, had this to say about his lifelong friend and early mentor:
Mike was the main ‘voice of KPFK,’ a major fundraiser and a voice of sanity and humanity during the many staff battles. As a teacher and mentor, he helped many people over the years begin their work on radio. In his final years, his main concern was the increasing illiteracy in America. He produced a series of 13 programs on “Illiterate America” which remain in the Pacifica Archives.
Mike had a large and loyal listenership, and following his untimely death in 1986 (melanoma) many regular listeners deeply mourned his passing.I believe the current Internet show, named in his honor, continues to respect his memory with a “Goodnight Mike” even now, some two decades after his passing.
Michael Paul Hodel was a true force for good and defender of the little guy in the Los Angeles community and was much beloved. His two surviving brothers and his many friends miss him dearly. Mike, like his brothers, never knew or suspected that his father was anything other than a rather eccentric genius, a physician, a lady’s man, and a rather poor poker player. (A Hodel poker game was often the highlight of our father’s frequent business trips through L.A. on his way to or from New York, in the 1970s and 80s.)
Mike Hodel reading to our new puppy, “Boots”, circa 1951 at age 11.
Mike circa 1979 – age 40