BALTIMORE (WBFF/WJZ) — Broadcasting legend James Uhrin, known in Baltimore as “Traffic Jam Jimmy,” died of a heart attack Saturday morning, his family told FOX 45. He was 65.
Uhrin debuted on Baltimore-area TV screens as Mondy the Sea Monster on the “Captain Chesapeake” show. But in recent years, he took on the name “Traffic Jam Jimmy” as he guided drivers around the Baltimore beltway each morning.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Tornado Watch Canceled For State, Severe Thunderstorm Warning Over
Uhrin, who studied at an electronics school run by Sinclair Broadcast Group founder Julian Smith, got his start at FOX45 in 1976. Over the years, Uhrin took on many jobs at the station, including directing, editing, and recording commercials.
Uhrin moved to the news team in 2012, covering community events and helping drivers navigate the morning commute. Every holiday season, Uhrin dressed up as Santa Claus and delivered holiday cheer to sick children in Baltimore hospitals.
Uhrin began working for FOX 45 around the same time as Dwight Weems, director of corporate production, and Del Parks, the station’s president of technology. He was “one of the nicest guys that you would ever meet,” Weems said.
Parks described Jimmy as “a true-blue friend that could always be counted on for his good humor and unselfish manner.”
“I just spoke to him the other day about coming to our house for a visit,” Parks said. “I will miss him terribly.”
Jimmy was a loyal, “wonderful, charismatic character,” FOX45’s Manager of Public Affairs Sharon Wylie said.
People who learned of Uhrin’s death on Saturday night took to Twitter to share their memories of him.READ MORE: Video Shows Squeegee Worker Assaulting A Driver At Busy Baltimore Intersection
Gov. Larry Hogan said he was devastated to learn that Urhin had died.
“I last saw Jimmy about a month ago for our annual Maryland Day interview in front of the State House,” Hogan said. “His trademark humor, irrepressible spirit, and love for Baltimore and our state will be dearly missed.”
Devastated to learn of the passing of local broadcasting legend James Uhrin, known and beloved by so many of us as ‘Traffic Jam Jimmy.’
Jimmy spent nearly half a century at Ch. 45, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know him better during my time as governor. pic.twitter.com/wMTRRuD0S6
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) May 8, 2022
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said he would miss the snow rides that he and Uhrin would go on together.
— Barry Glassman (@HarfordExec) May 8, 2022
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski bid Uhrin, “one of the good guys,” farewell in a social media post.
Rest In Peace to one of the good guys. https://t.co/K2Qq62atoY
— Johnny Olszewski, Jr. (@JohnnyOJr) May 8, 2022
Former mayoral candidate T.J. Smith recalled how excited he was for Uhrin to perform his sea monster duties on the “Captain Chesapeake” show.
“I was a crew member who couldn’t wait to turn on Captain Chesapeake and Mondy the Seamonster,” Smith said. “Many years later, in my various roles, I got to meet and befriend the man behind Mondy.”
Any child born in the 70s in Baltimore knew the sound and heard the call, “Ahoy crew members!” I was a crew member who couldn’t wait to turn on Captain Chesapeake and Mondy the Seamonster. Many years later, in my various roles, I got to meet and befriend the man behind Mondy, https://t.co/mYEPR2PJyc pic.twitter.com/AjrXZBSfs9
— T.J. Smith (@TJSmithSocial) May 8, 2022
WJZ’s reporters fondly recalled their encounters with Uhrin too. Ron Matz, host of Manic Monday, expressed his dismay at the news that Urhin had died, calling him “one of the finest people” he had ever met.
So saddened by the loss of Traffic Jam Jimmy. One of the finest people I've ever met and part of the fabric of Baltimore. Rest in peace good friend. pic.twitter.com/NufYIeCM6W
— Ron Matz (@RonMatzNews) May 8, 2022
Traffic reporter Kristy Breslin said she was “heartbroken over the loss” of Urhin.
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Heartbroken over the loss of my friend Traffic Jam Jimmy. He was a true Baltimore legend and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. pic.twitter.com/qxHbQV4Y9v
— Kristy Breslin (@WJZKBreslin) May 8, 2022
Uhrin is survived by his wife, Marie, his three children Greg, Martin, and Jess, and six grandchildren.