Former Salt Lake County commissioner and well-known radio announcer Robert G. Salter died Thursday morning at a Salt Lake nursing home from complications stemming from heart problems. He was 74 years old.

Salter was host of a popular talk radio program on KSXX for several years and until last February was a host on KZZI. He continued to host his radio show while serving as county commissioner in 1979-80 despite critics' comments that it was a conflict of interest. He said being a commissioner on the air was a helpful, educational experience for the people.Friends and relatives of Salter say he was always willing to help the underdog, and often used his radio show as a forum to help those in need.

Steve Trotter, a close friend of Salter, described him as a unique individual with a multi-faceted personality. "He once led a caravan of cars out into a desert to look for a flying saucer, and he had the roads jammed," he said.

"In spite of the fact he was perceived as being a hard-nosed right wing, he was a softy. He would help anyone that had a legitimate cause," said Trotter, who described Salter as the "father of many initiative petitions."

Salter, who was a jazz pianist, said the achievements he was most proud of as commissioner were the passage of a foothill protection ordinance, a flood control ordinance, a mobile home subdivision zone ordinance and upgrading the county's fire insurance rating. According to his records, Salter said he had helped nearly 2,000 individuals with various problems involving the county.

Funeral services for Salter are pending.