Twin Cities radio personality Dark Star, whose real name was George Chapple, was found dead at his home in Minnetonka Friday. He was 66.
He worked at WCCO-AM for 25 years before accepting a buyout offer in 2010. He had been working recently with KFAN Sports Radio.
Dark Star broke into the Twin Cities media in 1985 and rose quickly, combining an everywhere-all-the-time work ethic with an ability to schmooze with state leaders, big- and small-business people, professional coaches and athletes and anonymous telephone callers.
Dark Star is the name of the 1953 Kentucky Derby winner. In a 1993 Star Tribune profile, Chapple said he took the horse's name as a pseudonym while moonlighting as a handicapper for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and working for a very conservative brokerage house.
Chapple moved to the Twin Cities with his parents in 1979 to work for an auto leasing company. In 1985, he overheard a prediction of Vikings coach Bud Grant's resignation and called it in to Patrick Reusse and Joe Soucheray on their KSTP-AM radio show, "Monday Night Sports Talk." When the prediction proved credible, Reusse and Soucheray started touting Dark Star -- and they helped him get on the payroll at the St. Paul Pioneer Press as a handicapper, according the profile.
He did horse-racing updates for WCCO, then and in 1991 began doing his "Night Talk" show overnight. In 1993 he moved to a more prominent slot, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. In 1995 he became a talk radio fixture with "Sports Night with Dark Star." According to WCCO, he grew up in Ohio and Long Island, N.Y. He was a Vietnam veteran.