Comedian and radio personality Ron Sexton, best known for his character Donnie Baker on The Bob and Tom Show, has died suddenly at the age of 52, his family has announced.
He died unexpectedly on Friday in Ohio, while on the road in the middle of his stand-up comedy tour.
Ron was scheduled to perform on Friday and Saturday nights and had 39 more dates scheduled at venues across the US this year.
Sharing the news of his death via his Donnie Baker Facebook page, his family wrote on Saturday: ‘It is with great sadness that we inform everyone that Ron Sexton passed away yesterday.
‘To most of you he was Donnie Baker, but to us Ron and Dad.’
Comedian and radio personality Ron Sexton, best known for his character Donnie Baker on The Bob and Tom Show, has died suddenly at the age of 52.
Ron Sexton pictured with his wife Tracy and their children. The family paid tribute saying ‘He was Donnie Baker to most of you, but Ron and Dad to us.’
Ron’s family has not yet released the cause of his death, but it is said to be unexpected.
Born in Indianapolis in 1970, Ron was known for his love of comedy and baseball and honed his craft working as a baseball commentator for his high school radio station.
He got his big break in 2005 when he began voicing his most famous character, Donnie Baker, on ‘The Bob and Tom Show’.
He voiced characters including Floyd the Trucker and Kenny Tarmac.
His celebrity impressions, which included recent pictures of the fictional character Tony Soprano, were a huge hit with fans.
He regularly shares his political views – or those of his character Donnie Baker – through his comedy, his stand-up shows and discussing issues such as freedom of speech on his YouTube channel.
Tributes poured in from fellow comics and fans alike.
Taking to social media, one fan said: ‘RIP… legend #donnybaker #ronsexton.’
A second addition: ‘Donnie Baker was a treasure.’
Comedian John Ripp also took to social media to share his grief over Ron’s loss.
‘I fell in love with her the moment I heard her on the Bob & Tom Show, and it made my day when she agreed to crash and take over my podcast,’ she wrote on Twitter.
The hugely popular Bob and Tom Show was founded in 2011 by Bob Kevian and Tom Griswold in Indianapolis, and Ron was one of its most popular cast members.
The comedian’s drummer and best friend, Dusty Privett, wrote: ‘Reflecting on Ronnie’s life and the legacy he left behind, I can’t help but marvel at his profound influence.
‘Ron Sexton, as Donnie Baker, brings joy, laughter and an authentic connection to countless lives.
‘His ability to make people feel part of something special was a testament to his extraordinary character.
‘As we mourn the loss of a dear friend and extraordinary entertainer, let us remember Ron Sexton, not only for his comedic brilliance, but also for his immense love for his fans.
He concluded: ‘May his memory bring laughter and happiness to all who were touched by his true spirit. I am very lucky to be in his shadow.’
Country singer and comedian Kristen Tough Scott paid her tribute, saying: ‘Friends like him don’t come around very often.’
‘It’s one of the many things that makes him special. He cares about you, and a “How can I make money?” Kind of… he was a different breed.’
‘Ima miss you Ron!’
Host Pat McAfee paid tribute to Tom with a photo of the pair on The Bob & Tom Show.
He wrote: ‘We lost one of my favorite people of all time.. I laugh at everything this boat sale, b****** builder said and did.
Host Pat McAfee paid tribute to Tom with a photo of the pair on The Bob & Tom Show
‘I’ve been a fan since long before I had the incredible opportunity to speak into their microphone… so it was an absolute honor to meet Donnie and then Ron Sexton in their studio.
‘He’s always been incredibly kind to me and I’m grateful for that. Relax… the world will miss your presence… well done.’
The highly popular Bob & Tom Show was founded in 2011 by Bob Kevian and Tom Griswold in Indianapolis, and Ron was one of its most popular characters.
It was syndicated in early 2014 and has been described as ‘the most successful nationally syndicated morning drive show in radio history’.
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