A great and booming voice was silenced when we lost Jerry Doyle. To pay tribute to him is a particularly daunting task because countless individuals were touched by that voice.
For many Jerry Doyle will always be the amiable and independent Michael Garibaldi on the Emmy-winning series Babylon 5. Honest almost to a fault, legions of fans have been rooting for him for over twenty years. They cheered for his character in every one of his over one hundred episodes and cheered for the actor as he graced many a Comic Con stage.
For millions Jerry Doyle was a talk show host that brought a biting wit and a piercing common sense perspective on a show that rated among the top in the country. Refusing to give in to the partisan cynicism, yet consistently demanding that our leaders do more to serve America, listeners were loyal because they felt that he heard and understood them.
Then there was Jerry Doyle the internet media entrepreneur. As the founder of EpicTimes, Jerry was convinced that strong opinions from all sides should be considered, and that it was the duty of everyone to – not just vote – but to vote smart. Unlike so many other media outlets, Jerry’s publication never preyed on fear or created an echo chamber of agreement. He believed that passionate discussion was critical if we were going to tackle crucial problems, and he challenged all of us to rise to that level of discourse.
The person too few people were introduced to was Jerry Doyle the philanthropist. He would hate that I just called him that. Though it was never unusual to see him donating to a children’s hospital, making sure that wounded veterans in his community were taken care of or seeking funding to cure a disease, he never did so for any other reason than he considered it his responsibility. As hard-headed as he could be sometimes, it was nothing compared to the soft, kind nature of his spirit.
I will remember Jerry Doyle as an encouraging and eternally loyal friend I could talk to for hours. It didn’t matter whether we were going to be competitively trading one-liners on his show or day-dreaming about how he, the far-right conservative, and I, the tree-hugging liberal, could “kick them all out and show them how it’s done”; whether we were calling each other for business advice or encouraging each other to slow down for a moment and, as he often put it, watch the sunrises that we should never take for granted; or whether we both felt like the world was ours for the taking or one of us felt beat down by the world. I always knew one thing. I knew that no matter what type of discussion I was in for, Jerry was the type of friend who would always pick up the phone for me when it rang.
A great and booming voice was silenced when we lost Jerry Doyle. The only small consolation those of us who are grieving have is that he will always be honored when we raise our own voices. We honor him when we continue to work toward improving the country that he loved. And we honor him when we continue to try and be the patriots he believed we could be. He will be missed, but his impact will never be lost.
Originally published Huffington Post: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/remembering-jerry-doyle-no-matter-which-man-you-knew_us_579c25bee4b004301c50f998