It’s a perennial story: An older student returns to the classroom education he’d long set aside, finally finishing his studies and graduating years later. Typically, that story includes detours like service in war or a family tragedy.
Bobby Ellerbee’s story, however, is not exactly typical. He took four decades to get his undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Georgia — but it wasn’t an obstacle that caused the delay. Instead, it was a successful — and remarkably diverse — career, which began even before he stepped foot in a college classroom.
“I started in radio when I was 16 years old, because my next-door neighbor owned a radio station,” he tells NPR’s Linda Wertheimer. “For 30 years, I did live shows every day.”
These days, he supplies the voice of the sheriff on the surreal adult cartoon Squidbillies, which features a family of squid in the hills of northern Georgia.