News

Radio legend Casey Kasem dead at 82

Radio legend Casey Kasem dead at 82

CASEY KASEM: Casey Kasem accepts a radio icon award during the Radio Music Awards Monday, in this Oct. 27, 2003 file photo taken at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: Associated Press

kasem
In this April 27, 1981 photo, Casey Kasem and his wife Jean smile as he receives his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (AP Photo)

Casey Kasem, the radio personality who taught America to count backward from 40, has died.

The entertainer, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 82.

Confirming the sad news on her Facebook.com page, the broadcaster’s daughter Kerri writes, “Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends. Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad.”

Born Kemal Amin Kasem, the Detroit, Michigan native began his radio career in the mid-1950s, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to serve in the Korean War.

PHOTOS: Casey Kasem through the years2014 Notable Deaths

He ended up landing a job on the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network and decided to pursue a career in broadcasting after the war, heading to San Francisco, California, where he honed his skills as a DJ and became known for his rock ‘n’ roll trivia.

He went on to work at stations across the U.S., before launching his popular weekly chart show, the “American Top 40,” in 1970. He hosted the program until 1988, and again from 1998 to 2004, and served as presenter on two spin-off series, the “American Top 20” and the “American Top 10.”

“Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’re only as good as the people you work with and the people you work for. I’ve been lucky; I’ve worked for and with the best,” Kasem said in the sign-off of his final broadcast.

He moved into voice acting in the 1960s, lending his vocals to Batman’s sidekick Robin in the 1968 superhero cartoons, but Kasem was perhaps best known for providing the voice of Shaggy in the “Scooby-Doo” franchise, a job he retained from 1969 until 1995 and once again from 2002 to 2009.

His other TV credits included “Battle of the Planets,” “Cliffjumper” and the original “Transformers” cartoons, while he made acting cameos in the original “Hawaii Five-O” police drama, “Saved by the Bell,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Columbo” and the “Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries” and appeared in independent sci-fi/horror movie “The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant,” alongside Bruce Dern. He also made a cameo in 1984’s “Ghostbusters.”

Kasem was honored for his lengthy career with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on his 49th birthday in April, 1981 and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.

His final years were blighted by ill health following his retirement in 2009, and he became the subject of a bitter family rivalry as his three eldest children, Julie, Mike and Kerri, from his first marriage to Linda Myers, battled with his second wife Jean, the mother of his youngest child Liberty, over his care.

His daughter Kerri Kasem was appointed his conservator in May.

Recent Headlines

in National, World

Shrinking U.S. trade gap shows economy’s underlying strength

Fresh
trade

The U.S. trade deficit fell in July to its lowest level in five months as exports rose broadly, signaling underlying strength in the economy amid concerns about a global growth slowdown.

in Local

Third UMass Gang Rape Defendant Found Guilty

Fresh
Courtesy of Jerrey Roberts, Daily Hampshire Gazette. Adam Liccardi

A Hampshire Superior Court jury deliberated for 12 hours before yesterday afternoon finding Adam Liccadi guilty on three of four counts of aggravated rape.

in Local

West Springfield Police Probe Launched After Prisoner Escapes

Fresh
news-polic

Jose Rubet of Springfield was arrested August 22 after allegedly leading officers on a high-speed chase into Agawam. He was arrested and taken to lockup, where he later produced a knife which he waved at officers before escaping through an emergency exit.

in National

Kentucky clerk jailed for denying same-sex marriage licenses

Fresh
20-overlay2

The clerk has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution, citing her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.

in Local

Hotel Northampton Workers Plan To Unionize

Updated
Hotel Northampton workers march to unionize. Courtesy of Jerrey Roberts, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Around 50 Hotel Northampton workers marched through downtown Tuesday night to announce their intention to bargain collectively. The group attempted to present their union petition to hotel owner Mansour Ghalibaf, who refused to come out of his office to accept it.