Deadline Detroit | Howard, who helped many people get into broadcasting, dies at 96
Specs Howard, aka Julian Liebman, who founded the Specs Howard School of Media Arts and trained thousands for jobs in radio and television, died early Saturday at age 96.
His death was announced by a “heartbroken” girl, Alisa Zee.
The Southfield School operated from around 1969 until 2021 when it became part of Lawrence Tech in Southfield.
“He was always grateful to the whole media community,” his daughter said. “He felt your buy-in at every step of his professional journey, knowing that his mission to help change lives for the better was supported and guided by all.”
“To anyone who ever listened to him on the air, graduated from the Specs Howard school, hired the people he trained, or even just said nice things to or about dad, the entire Specs Howard family say thanks.””
Born April 8, 1926, in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, Liebman earned a bachelor’s degree in history/political science and radio and dramatic speech from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1948.
He considered studying law, but instead bought a radio station and began a 13-year career (1948-1970) as a successful disc jockey and announcer in Kitanning and Sharon, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, according to a Detroit 2021 Jewish News article.
Liebman became “Specs Howard” in 1956. The name “specs” comes from his taste for glasses. Liebman was also known as the “kosher DJ” because he was an observant Orthodox Jew and did not work on the Sabbath, reports the Jewish News.
In 1969, he launched Specs Howard. A year later, it became a full-time gig. It started as a traditional broadcasting school, but eventually offered digital media and graphic design as well.