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Casey Kasem, ‘American Top 40′ Radio Pioneer, Dead at 82

Casey Kasem
Michael Tullberg, Getty Images

Casey Kasem, one of America’s most legendary radio hosts, has died at the age of 82. He had been suffering from Lewy body dementia, or LBD, which is a degenerative condition similar to Parkinson’s disease.

His daughter, Kerri Kasem, confirmed the sad news on her Facebook page this Father’s Day morning (June 15). She wrote:

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.

With love, Kerri, Mike and Julie.

Kasem’s longtime friend, Gonzalo Venecia, and his younger brother, Mouner Kasem, were also with him when he died at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington, at 3:25AM, a family member told CNN.

Daughter Julie Kasem will host a memorial celebration at her home in California on Saturday (June 21). Funeral arrangements are still pending.

Born Kemal Kasim to Lebanese parents in Detroit, he served as a DJ for Armed Forces Radio during the Korean War. For 24 years, he was the host of American Top 40 from 1970 to 1988 and again from 1998 to 2004. ‘American Idol’ host Ryan Seacrest succeeded him in the role after his departure.

Kasem was also an accomplished voiceover actor, who famously provided the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo cartoons in 1969. He also starred in several low-budget films.

Kasem’s many accolades include a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981. He was also inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1985 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.

He had recently been the subject of a bitter court battle involving three of his children by a previous marriage and his second wife, actress Jean Kasem, best known for her recurring role as Loretta Tortelli on ‘Cheers.’ Last month, a court named Kerri as his temporary caregiver in his final days. Last week, he was taken off life support.

We want to send our condolences to Kasem’s family and friends. May he rest in eternal peace.

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