Sadly, Grambling State University public address announcer Leon Thomas III has passed away. Thomas left his mark on the university with his passion for his work and personable spirit. Learn more about the local legend in the article below from Nancy Cook at Louisiana station WGNO below.
All of Grambling, as well as Grambling alumnae worldwide is grieving the death of Leon “The Voice” Thomas III, following the announcement that he had lost his courageous battle with cancer.
The announcement was made by Grambling President Rick Gallot in a tweet on Grambling University’s Twitter feed around 11 a.m. Wednesday:
“#Gramfam, we are saddened to hear of the passing of GSU legend Leon Thomas III. Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and everyone his life impacted.
Whether you knew him as Leon, LT, or The Voice, he always left a lasting impression, no matter the circumstance. Whether he was announcing a G-Men football game, halftime for the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, Calendar Girl Pageant, or other Grambling events too numerous to list, you felt his love for Grambling State University.
“On behalf of Christy and I, and the entire Grambling Family, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Leon Thomas, III. We will all miss his physical presence and voice, but we know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).” We will keep his parents, Leon and Irene Thomas, as well as his brother Leron in our prayers.”
GSU Prez Rick Gallot
Leon, rest peacefully. Your alma mater, your #Gramfam will miss you dearly. Until we meet again, arrivederci!”
Thomas began his career as Grambling’s public address announcer in 1988, he not only introduced world-famous Grambling celebrities such as Eddie G. Robinson Jr., Doug Williams, Broderick Fobbs, Joi’Lavi Porter, Joiya Smith, he introduced the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, Miss GSU pageants, Miss Cover Girl pageants, coronations, and other events for GSU Favrot Student Union.
A Grambling native, Thomas’ mother worked at Grambling for 30 years. According to a 2015 article by Brandon LaGarde in the university newspaper, The Gramblinite, Thomas’ mom taught him the proper way to talk, dress, social etiquette and to have a firm educational background with a great emphasis on the importance of being an influential African American.”
Thomas began doing radio professionally while he was still at Grambling State University Laboratory High School, where mentors Rick Godly, Earl Simpson and Lloyd Moss and Earl Simpson guided him into his career, Thomas told LaGarde.
Simpson was the Grambling Laboratory band director, who made Thomas sign up for radio and TV so he could announce the band at halftime during football games, while Moss was a teacher at Grambling Lab who put Thomas behind a microphone and in front of a camera every chance he could.
Godley gave Thomas his first radio opportunity on the radio – While on the air, Godley said, “Leon Thomas III I know you’re listening next time you’re at the radio station come see me.” The rest was history.
Funeral services are pending.