Radio legend Casey Kasem dead at 82
Casey Kasem, who had been in a health battle for years, passed away Sunday morning at the age of 82.
Casey Kasem died Sunday morning in a California hospital, according to his daughter. The radio legend was 82.
Kasem was born Kemal Amin Kasem in Detroit in 1932, and he began his radio career in Flint, Michigan. In 1952, he moved on to become an announcer on the Armed Forces Korea Network. According to ABC News, Kasem continued to work in radio across the country for the next two decades before he finally launched the brand that would make him famous — American Top 40 — in 1970. He hosted the show until 1988, then changed the format and relaunched it as Casey's Top 40 until 1998. In 2004, American Top 40 was handed over to Ryan Seacrest.
Kasem has four children. He married his second wife, Jean, in 1980.
"Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars," Kasem said as he signed off from each show.
He later explained the sign-off to the New York Times, saying, "I just didn't want to say goodbye. Every station I was at, I never said goodbye. I don't know why."
Kasem was also the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo, among many other voice roles.
The radio host's health has been declining for years. Last year, his daughter Kerri announced he was suffering from dementia. The diagnosis started a bitter battle among his family members for the right to decide his well-being. Three of his children claimed Casey's wife Jean was not allowing access to their father. Daughter Julie attempted to gain conservatorship in 2013 but was denied. After Jean took Casey out of state, a judge granted daughter Kerri the rights to take care of her father.
On Wednesday, a judge ordered food and medicine to be withheld from Casey on the advice of the hospital.