Juan Trasviña was a San Francisco radio announcer and broadcasting mainstay throughout the 20th century. Having begun his career in radio, Trasviña was one of the first San Francisco State University students to receive a Broadcasting B.A. and M.A. degree.
His 2013 obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle gives a small snapshot of his wide-ranging radio career: “His radio career spanned from announcing the first Trans Pacific short wave news from the 1939 World’s Fair at Treasure Island, to his Army unit transmitting sensitive information for the State Department at the Yalta Peace Conference, to sound effects work for popular old-time radio shows, to serving as engineer for 42 years at The National Broadcasting Company as KPO, KNBC and KNBR Radio, to assisting World Series broadcasts from Oakland to Latin America in 1972 – 74. Shortly before and after retirement, he trained the next generation of broadcasters in Spanish and English courses at the College of San Mateo.”
Below is a 1940 portrait of Trasviña working for KGEI broadcasting at the Golden Gate International Exposition, as well as photo of Trasviña and his wife Carmen, taken in 1945 at San Francisco’s Monaco Theater Restaurant. As the below brochure cover shows, the famous restaurant and nightclub was located at 557 Pacific Avenue, in what was briefly known as the International Settlement (the name was a rebranding of the old Barbary Coast entertainment disctrict).
1 +2) Carmen and Juan Trasviña at Club Monaco, 1945. From the Latino Heritage Fair Project, San Francisco Public Library
3) Juan Trasviña portrait as radio announcer for KGEI broadcasting for Latin Americans at Golden Gate International Exposition, 1940. From the Latino Heritage Fair Project, San Francisco Public Library