Pedro Biaggi

Brief info

Biaggi, 47, of Silver Spring, grew up poor in Puerto Rico. His father was a steelworker, but he was raised by his stepfather, a musician, and his mother, a housewife. At age 16, he set his sights on New York City, but was almost deterred when an adult who was holding the $500 he had saved disappeared. With [money] a friend borrowed for him, Biaggi headed north with a one-way airplane ticket. A contact back home led him to Walter Terry, a dance critic who referred him to the American Ballet Theatre, which offered him a full scholarship even though he had limited dance experience. Biaggi left the ABT to work at the Playboy Club in Atlantic City, but was left unable to dance again after suffering a leg injury. Chance meetings led to opportunities to work as a news director, deejay and promoter for Sony's and Warner's music divisions.

Ten years ago, he decided to go back to his first love -- radio. For five years, he has been "Pedro en la mañana!" -- the popular morning drive host on Lanham-based and CBS-owned, 50,000-watt WLZL, El Zol 99.1-FM, drawing an audience estimated at about 500,000 from Delaware to southern Virginia. He is active in charities that benefit children and immigrants.