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Alan Berg
Born January 1934
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died June 18, 1984 (aged 50)
Denver, Colorado, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Radio show host
Religious beliefs Jewish

Alan Berg (January 1934 – June 18, 1984) was an American attorney and radio talk show host in Denver, Colorado. The acerbic Berg was known for taking a largely liberal stand on issues.

Berg, who was Jewish, was assassinated in the driveway of his home on the evening of June 18, 1984 by members of the white nationalist group, The Order.


Early life

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Alan Berg attended the University of Colorado at Denver before transferring to the University of Denver.[1] At age 22, Berg was one of the youngest people to pass the Illinois state bar examination and he went into practice in Chicago. However, he began to experience neuromuscular seizures and he had become an alcoholic.[2] Berg's wife, Judith Lee Berg (née Halpern), convinced him to quit his practice to seek help. They moved to her hometown of Denver and he committed himself. Berg completed his rehabilitation, but he continued to be plagued by the seizures after his release. He was ultimately diagnosed with a brain tumor. After it was surgically removed, he made a full recovery.[2]

Radio career

Alan Berg opened a clothing store in Denver. It was here where he met KGMC-AM talk show host Laurence Gross. Impressed with Alan Berg, Gross made him a guest on several occasions. When Gross left KGMC to take a job in San Diego, California, he requested that Alan Berg be named his successor.

From KGMC, which changed its call sign to KWBZ, Berg moved to KHOW, also in Denver. After being fired from KHOW, Berg went back to KWBZ before it changed to an all-music format and he again lost his job. The unemployed Berg was courted by both KTOK in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Detroit, Michigan. He was lastly hired by KOA and debuted on Monday, February 23, 1981. He worked at KOA until his death.

Listeners in more than thirty states listened to Alan Berg's opinions about such topics as gun control, homosexuality, religion, and anti-Semitism. He became notorious for upsetting some disagreeing callers to the point they began sputtering. Berg would frequently scream at them for being unable to express themselves and for wasting his time. However, Berg later toned down somewhat, especially after he returned to work after serving a suspension for berating former Secretary of State Ellen Kaplan on his show.


At about 9:30 p.m. on June 18, 1984, Alan Berg was shot thirteen times in the driveway of his Adams Street townhouse after he stepped out of his Volkswagen Beetle. He was returning home after a dinner date with his ex-wife, Judith. They were attempting a reconciliation.[3] The murder weapon, a semi-automatic Ingram MAC-10 which had been illegally converted to an automatic weapon, was later discovered at the home of one of The Order's members by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's hostage rescue team.[4]

Four members of The Order were ultimately indicted, including Robert Mathews, who conceived the plan to assassinate Alan Berg. However, only the actual shooter, Bruce Pierce, and the getaway driver, David Lane, were convicted. However, neither was convicted of Berg's murder; they were actually convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, and violating Berg's civil rights. Both were sentenced to essentially life terms. Lane's sentence was 190 years.

David Lane was a former klansman who later joined the Neo-Nazi Christian Identity group Aryan Nation. He steadfastly denied any involvement in Alan Berg's murder, but neither did he regret that Berg was murdered. In the 1999 History Channel documentary, Nazi America: A Secret History Lane, who called into Alan Berg's radio program at least once, admitted to "...yanking his [Berg's] chain a little". In regards to Berg's murder, Lane stated in the same interview, "The only thing I have to say about Alan Berg is: regardless of who did it, he has not mouthed his hate-whitey propaganda from his 50,000-watt Zionist pulpit for quite a few years".

While incarcerated at Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, David Lane died at age 68 on May 28, 2007 of an epileptic seizure.[5]

Films and plays inspired by Berg's assassination

Alan Berg's murder was the basis for Eric Bogosian's 1987 play, Talk Radio and the fictionalized 1988 motion picture adaptation directed by Oliver Stone. Steven Dietz's 1988 play God's Country and the 1988 film Betrayed were also based on the incident.


  1. ^ Biography. Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ a b Estes, Clarissa Pinkola (May 30, 2007). The Ironies: White Supremacist Convicted of Slaying Alan Berg Dies. The Moderate Voice.
  3. ^ Flynn, Kevin (May 1, 2007). Fighting racism for 20 years - Neo-Nazi victim Alan Berg's ex-wife calls hate a 'disease'. Rocky Mountain News.
  4. ^ "Gun used in slaying of talk show host found." Lexington Herald-Leader. December 18, 1984.
  5. ^ White supremacist, talk show host killer dies in prison

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