Today March 18, 1918 Bob Hazen was born in Portland. Best known for his signature high voice on radio and television advertisements with the tag line he coined "Pay yourself first at the Benj. Franklin." Bob was the voice and the face of the Benj. Franklin Savings & Loan.
In September 1930 Bob entered the 7th grade at Rose City Park grammar school. In May 1937 he graduated from Grant High School where he had been student body President. In October 1937 Bob became freshman class President at Whitman College in Walla Walla. He also attended William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia.
By December 1941 Hazen was a staff teller at the "Benj. Franklin Federal Savings & Loan Association" 517 S.W. Stark St. where his father Ben H. Hazen was President and one of the founders in July 1925. In January 1942 Hazen joined the U.S. Navy during World War II becoming a Chief Specialist. After the war Bob returned to Portland, working in promotions at the Benj. Franklin.
On May 25, 1949 he began "The Bob Hazen Show" on KEX AM/FM 7:30 to 7:45am to further promote the Benj. Franklin. Ad: "Portland's Newest Radio Personality Entertains Every Weekday Morning." Bob's theme song was called "The Hot Canary." On June 4, 1950 Robert H. Hazen married Phyllis Gardner. They lived at 2073 S.W. Park Ave. On December 17, 1950 it was announced Bob Hazen was now Vice-President of the Benj. Franklin.
On April 2, 1951 "The Bob Hazen Show" moved 15 minutes later to 7:45am. On May 12, 1951 "The Bob Hazen Show" expanded on KEX to 6 days a week with the addition of Saturdays. On July 20, 1951 son Dechard G. "Deck" Hazen was born. On October 30, 1952 daughter Sydney Hazen was born. April 12, 1954 ad: "Join the Benj. Franklin on the air "The Bob Hazen Show" Top Tunes of the day. 7:45am, KEX daily except Sunday."
By April 1957 Bob was Executive V.P. of the Benj. Franklin. April 25, 1958 ad: "The Bob Hazen Show has gained a loyal following and a high rating. It has been nationally recognized as one of the outstanding programs of its type." On January 21, 1959 Bob Hazen was elected President of "Benj. Franklin Federal Savings & Loan Association."
On March 2, 1959 "The Bob Hazen Show" began a simulcast on KOIN AM/FM at 7:45am as well as on KEX. This must have made KEX unhappy. On April 1, 1959 "The Bob Hazen Show" moved from KEX to KXL at 7:45am. The 15 minute show would continue on KOIN at 7:45am, where the program originated. Ad: "Named by PULSE Survey as Portland's most popular daytime radio show. Presenting your favorite music, both old and new."
October 12, 1959 ad: "FREE to New Savers, Pat's Newest Record. Prized by Pat Boone fans of any age. "Fool's Hall of Fame" is Pat's newest top ten hit. We have one Free for anyone opening a new account for $10 or more at any office of the Benj. Franklin. Supply is limited, so hurry, start your savings account today! For more details, tune in "The Bob Hazen Show", KOIN & KXL Every weekday morning at 7:45 a.m."
On April 3, 1961 "The Bob Hazen Show" added KGON 1520kc at 7:45am, continuing on KXL & KOIN AM/FM where the program originated. On September 6, 1962 KGON carried the last Hazen program. The station had changed format to Rock & Roll. March 29, 1965 ad: "Now in its 16th Year, the bright and breezy music of The Bob Hazen Show becomes a new morning feature, 7:45 am, Monday thru Friday on KPAM & KPFM. Sponsored by the Benj. Franklin." The show originated from KOIN AM/FM studios. KXL also carried the program into the early 70's.
In Spring 1967 KPAM/KPFM were changing format and Hazen's show was dropped. By July 1969 KXL was recording Hazen's show from KOIN for broadcast at 8:15am. In 1969 Bob married his second wife, Roberta "Bobbie" Williams. In June 1970 Bob Hazen was heard, doing color comment on KOIN-TV during Rose Festival filmed highlights with emcee, Blaine Hanks. They would team up yearly in June, for the next four years on KOIN-TV.
On July 24, 1972 "The Bob Hazen Show" was heard KPOK at 8:10am, recorded from KOIN. On July 28, 1972 KOIN ran its last Hazen show. The station was changing its format. On July 31, 1972 Bob Hazen moved his show to KPOK live. On June 18, 1973 KPOK switched format and that spelled the end of Hazen's radio program after 24 years.
By October 1978 Hazen was President & Board Chairman of the Benj. Franklin. Bob retired in 1980. He was an energetic Portland civic leader, heading, among other organizations, the Portland Rose Festival and the city's chamber of commerce. Bob was the consummate Portland salesman, involved in everything that happened, from remodeling Civic Auditorium to helping start the Performing Arts Center. On September 4, 2006 Bob Hazen died at age 88 in a Milwaukie retirement home.