Ralph Barbieri

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Ralph Barbieri (born c. 1946)[1] is a former sports radio personality from San Francisco, California. Along with former NBA player Tom Tolbert, Barbieri hosted the afternoon sports radio show The Razor and Mr. T on KNBR from 1996 to 2012. With Barbieri, the show was the highest rated show in the Bay Area for the 25-54 male demographic since 2000.[2]


Barbieri was a stringer for Sport magazine before he joined KNBR in 1984 to host his own sports talk show. In 1996, he was teamed with Tolbert, a former NBA player. Barbieri's nickname is "The Razor" because of his raspy voice,[3] thought by some listeners to resemble a barber's electric razor, and his "no-nonsense" approach to interviews. The nickname, which may have also been inspired by his surname's resemblance to "barber," was given to him by longtime San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen. In 2007, Barbieri renewed his four-year contract with KNBR through November 2011.[4] Barbieri was known to end his show with, "Angels fly because they take themselves lightly," a quote from Gilbert K. Chesterton.

On April 11, 2012, the 66-year-old Barbieri was let go by KNBR.[5] KNBR's parent company, Cumulus Media, said he "refused to honor some of the most basic terms of his contract."[1] Barbieri's legal team cited age discrimination and disability discrimination in the termination.[1] Earlier in 2011, Barbieri had revealed that he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2005.[6]


Barbieri holds a bachelor's degree from the University of San Francisco and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Personal life[edit]

Barbieri is reportedly a vegetarian and a believer in animal rights.[7] In 1995, Barbieri avoided jail time by pleading no contest to a third-offense drunk driving charge; he spent 120 days in a residential treatment program.[8] Following the incident, Barbieri settled down, giving up what he called "25 years of sex, drugs and rock and roll." In 2000, Barbieri fathered a son, Tayte Ali, via in-vitro fertilization, using an egg donor and a surrogate mother.[7] In 2004, the American Diabetes Association named Ralph Barbieri one of five "Bay Area Father of the Year" award winners.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Fong-Torres, Ben (April 29, 2012). "Ralph Barbieri, Cumulus Media square off". The San Francisco Chronicle. p. Q26. Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ Smith, Michelle (2003-06-13). "KNBR makes moves". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  3. ^ "Son born to Bay Area's Barbieri". San Jose Mercury News. 2000-06-22. 
  4. ^ Fong-Torres, Ben (2007-11-18). "Radio Waves". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  5. ^ Spratt, Gerry (April 11, 2012). "Ralph Barbieri let go by KNBR". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ Ostler, Scott (October 5, 2011). "Talker's secret: Ralph Barbieri has Parkinson's". The San Francisco Chronicle. p. B-1. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Horvath, Alex (2001-06-15). "Barbieri came to fatherhood in a newfangled way". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  8. ^ "Barbieri Avoids Jail Term". San Francisco Chronicle. 1995-06-16. 
  9. ^ "2004 Father of the Year Winners Announced; Five Bay Area Fathers Share Honors; Gala Event Benefiting the American Diabetes Association Planned". Business Wire. 1995-06-16. 

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