Photo of Mitchell Harding. Mitchell Harding

Mitchell Harding

          Eugene Ware a.k.a. Mitchell Harding was born on July 14, 1928 in Kankakee, Illinois. He lived in Illinois until his father died when he was 14. His mother, brother Don, and he moved to Pasadena, California. Larry, as he was known back then, went to school in Pasadena, read every book in the library trying to escape the ’brown darkness“ of Protestant middle-America, as he put it, and went on to study graphic design. He went to Art Center School and worked in graphic design on and off until 1980.

          He was 17 when WWII ended, so just missed being drafted. He was later drafted to serve in the Korean War and served as a military police officer. Just before he was going to be shipped off to Korea he had to have his wisdom teeth extracted, and the war ended while he was recovering.

          In 1959 he volunteered at the new Pacifica Radio station KPFK, lending his deep, friendly voice to station promos. Before long he was hired on to produce shows and became a fixture at the station. He took the pseudonym Mitchell Harding which he used for his entire 34 year career in radio. At KPFK he met Katherine Calkin.

          While at KPFK he produced a wide array of shows, from politically heavy to strange and humorous, and interviewed many figures of cultural significance such as Albert Hoffman, Richard Neutra, and Ray Bradbury. He is probably best remembered for Hour 25 which he co-hosted with Mike Hodel and Kathrine Calkin from 1972 to 1981.

          After leaving KPFK in early 1981 he moved to Santa Monica and went to work for KCRW. He worked there as head of traffic and operations helping the station grow from a small college radio station to the flagship station of Nation Public Radio. He retired in 1994 and he passed away on November 9, 2007.

          -- This material is excerpted from - 2009-09-18.

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