March 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Obituary: Bob Davis, 90

Bob Davis

Bob Davis, a radio host at Washington’s classical music station WGMS for more than 50 years and who married his partner last June on their 62nd anniversary as a couple, died Feb. 23 of heart disease at his home in Chevy Chase, Md. He was 90.

Davis talked about his career and relationship with his husband, Realtor Henry Schalizki, in a video interview with the Washington Blade last June at the time of his wedding, which came three months after D.C.’s same-sex marriage law took effect.

“We were treated as a couple, with no reference of sexuality at all,” Davis said in the interview, noting how his superiors and colleagues at WGMS and a Baltimore television station, where he started his career in broadcasting in the late 1940s, respected his relationship with Schalizki.

Davis was born Sept. 3, 1920, in Battle Creek, Mich. He began his career in radio broadcasting in Michigan and later in Indiana before serving in the Navy during World War II. In his Blade interview, he said he and Schalizki met during the war and socialized before becoming a couple in 1949.

He worked with the USO entertaining troops in the late 1940s and early 1950s before starting work as the host of a variety show at WBAL-TV in Baltimore in the early 1950s. He later moved to D.C. to become an announcer at radio station WOL AM. He joined the staff at D.C.’s WGMS in 1953, where he worked as a staff announcer and program host until 1985.

Davis worked part-time as a substitute host at the station until 2007, when it went out of business.

Friends and colleagues, including D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), attended Davis and Schalizki’s wedding ceremony at the J.W. Marriott Hotel’s rooftop terrace in downtown D.C.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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