Negron: Knowing Don Imus

Actions speak louder than words. If there was ever anyone who truly represented what this adage means, it was Don Imus.

Last night, I heard of the passing of the longtime radio personality. I heard about some of the controversial scenarios that he got involved with but that is not what I want to talk about. I fondly think of Don Imus as a kind man who was probably one of the most philanthropic men that I have ever met.

I was introduced to Don by another incredible and important man in my life. His name is David Jurist. I first met David at Hackensack Medical Center when I took the former Yankee Ruben Sierra there to visit some sick children. We became fast friends because we had one thing in common. That is our love for helping people. In 2006, I came out with my first children’s book,”The Boy of Steel.”

David asked me if I would like to be on his friend’s radio show to promote my book. I asked David who was his friend? He said it’s Don Imus from “Imus in the Morning.” I screamed out ‘Heck yeah.’

The next day David took me to the radio station. I met Don Imus and we went on-air and overnight the book shot to number two on the “New York Times Best Seller List.” I got to meet his wife, Deirdre, and saw what a great team they were. I loved the friendship that Don really had with David Jurist. I have to add that I learned so much by watching the incredible charity work that “Team Imus” did.

When you walk around Hackensack Medical center, you can’t help but notice the “Don Imus Wing” there. Can you imagine what you have to do to have a structure like this in such a hospital named after you. I will not get into the fact that this man had a big ranch in the west for children of all denominations who were dealing with all types of illnesses.

I’m not going to say that we were best friends, because we weren’t. I will say that the few times that I was around him he reminded me of the great philanthropic ways of George Steinbrenner and it made me feel so good.

My deep condolences to Deirdre and her family and to the Jurist family and Robert C Garrett, the President and CEO at Hackensack Meridian Health these are some of the people that will truly feel this.

Thanks Don for your worldly contributions and the fact that you cared so much for all children.

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