Tributes pour in for conservative radio host Drew Lee

Lee leaves behind a wife and two children. 

Andrew Lee, left, and Jon Justice. (Justice and Drew/Facebook)

Twin Cities radio host Drew Lee died unexpectedly Saturday afternoon, his co-host Jon Justice announced at the top of Monday morning’s show.

The radio duo served as co-hosts of KTLK AM 1130’s immensely popular “Justice & Drew” program, a mainstay among Minnesota conservatives.

Justice, who himself is recovering from open heart surgery, delivered the news from his hospital bed.

“This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire radio career,” Justice said. “I wish I could be there in studio but I’m here to tell you that on Saturday afternoon, my friend and your friend Drew Lee passed away.”

“Drew was my best friend. He was your friend and I don’t need to tell you how special he was. It goes without saying that I’m devastated and he will be tragically missed. Everybody here at iHeart is grieving. We ask for your prayers for Drew’s family that they get through this difficult time.”

Jason Lewis and Sam Sansevere filled in as guest hosts on Monday’s show but Justice asked to deliver the news himself.

“My life would have looked so different if not for the role that Drew played in it, both professionally and personally,” said Sansevere, who produced the show for many years.

Lee leaves behind a wife and two children.

“Drew loved life, he lived every moment to its fullest. I was texting and joking with him in the hours leading up to his passing. Even then he was enjoying his day. It still doesn’t feel real,” Justice later wrote on Twitter.

The tributes to Lee poured in following the announcement.

“Drew was a talk radio veteran — conservative, funny, talented, kind, decent, and irreplaceable. I loved his work on the show. I loved being with him in the studio. I always left with the feeling that I was walking on a cloud,” wrote Power Line’s Scott Johnson, a frequent guest on the show who had just joined Lee in-studio Friday morning.

The station received an overflow of calls Monday morning from distraught listeners who shared how Lee helped them get through difficult times.

“You don’t just listen to voices and hear these voices. You meet them in person and they become your friends,” said one listener. “I know many can say that about Andrew.”