When I sleep - I sleep like the dead so when I woke up around 6:30 I saw my phone was filled with texts and messages. The first one I read was from Patty Jackson date stamped September 9, 2013, 2:44 am. "Loraine it's Patty Jackson. E Steven Collins has died of a massive heart attack Sunday night. I am with his family now."
With that I awoke to a world without E. Steven Collins in it. NAACP Philadelphia President J. Whyatt Mondesire called this morning and shared that E. had hosted a pool party at his house just Saturday for the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. Flipping burgers. Looking just fine.
Many years ago - when I first came to work at Power 99 FM - WDAS FM was our competition and sometimes our rivalry was pretty fierce. From the first time I met E. Steven I was greeted with warmth and generosity. He understood more than most that business is one thing but simple kindness and generosity of spirit trumped everything.
I feel very fortunate to have worked with E. Steven Collins over these many years - most recently at the Mayor's Commission on Literacy. Adult literacy was a something he was fiercely passionate about.
E. Steven Collins at a Special Meeting with the Philadelphia Delegation He helped Organize for the Mayor's Commission on Literacy
In fact there were few just causes in the city that didn't have E.'s fingerprints on it. E. Steven Collin's powerful leadership for social change made a huge impact on the City of Philadelphia. He was also one of the most talented broadcasters and commentators in radio and television.
All those things I just wrote are true. But I think what moved me most about E. was how fine a friend he was. When Patty Jackson's home collapsed, he and his wife Lisa embraced Patty and her family and provided them with a place to stay. E. was also a devoted father and husband.
One of the last times we met was at the funeral of the mother he loved so well. It just seems impossible that E. would join her so soon. All our prayers go out to Lisa Collins and their sons Rashid and Langston.