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John J. Gilmore, retired broadcasting executive, dies

John J Gilmore, who spent decades in the broadcasting industry, was an avid waterman who enjoyed boating.
John J Gilmore, who spent decades in the broadcasting industry, was an avid waterman who enjoyed boating.

John J. Gilmore, a retired broadcasting executive who had worked at WBAL-TV, Maryland Public Television and National Public Radio, died Sunday from cancer at his Berlin, Worcester County, home. The former Lutherville resident was 81.

John Joseph Gilmore, son of George Dewey Gilmore, a Baltimore-based district manager for the Automatic Sprinkler Corp. of America, and his wife, Margaret Travers Gilmore, a homemaker, was born in Cranford, New Jersey, and was 7-years-old when he moved with his family to Rodgers Forge.

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He was a graduate of the old Towson Catholic High School and attended the University of Maryland, College Park, and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1962 from the University of Baltimore.

Mr. Gilmore spent 35 years as a media executive and worked in sales at WBAL-TV from 1971 to 1991, spending his last decade there as vice president of sales. He was vice president of local and regional marketing at Maryland Public Television from 1994 to 1998, and retired in 2003 from National Public Radio, where he had been director of sponsorship and marketing for five years.

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After leaving NPR, he moved to Berlin, Worcester County. An avid waterman, in his youth he had spent summers working as a first mate on fishing boats out of Ocean City, and in retirement continued to enjoy boating and fishing.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware Avenues, Towson. Because attendance is restricted to 75 people, the Mass will be live streamed at https://www.theimmaculate.org/church/live-stream/

Mr. Gilmore is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Margaret Smith, a former relocation specialist with PHH Home Equity, who later owned her own relocation firm, Destination Maryland; a son, John Gilmore of Hanover, Pennsylvania; three daughters, Kathy Miller of Seattle, Kelly Gilmore of San Francisco and Margaret “Margie” Gilmore of Los Angeles; 10 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

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