Former radio host, politician Barbara Carlson dies at 80

She was best known for her talk radio show on KSTP.
Publish date:
Updated on

Barbara Carlson, the former Minneapolis radio host and council member, has died at the age of 80.

Daughter Anne Carlson announced her death on her Caring Bridge page, saying her mother – who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in February – was surrounded by her family in a hospice room at Abbott Northwestern Hospital on Monday when she died.

"[We] held her, told stories, laughed and wrapped her in love until she took her last breath. She said everyone should die like this," Anne Carlson wrote.

"It was so peaceful and heartbreaking at the same time. I've never known pain like this and our hearts have a huge hole."

Sponsored: Change happens, be ready with an MBA from St. Scholastica.

Carlson is best known among Twin Cities residents for her talk show on KSTP radio, where she took an "unflinching" approach to politics and issues that mattered to her, the Pioneer Press notes.

She was a two-term member of Minneapolis City Council in the 1980s, representing Ward 7, and ran for mayor in 1997.

And she was also the first wife of former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, though they divorced before he became governor.

Among those paying tribute to Carlson following her death is Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who tweeted: "There will never be another Barbara Carlson! She had a zest for life and everyone that met up with her learned something new."

Today's Top Stories

– Jack Jablonski wiggles his toes for first time since 2011.

– Man found dead after standoff with Forest Lake police.

Next Up