The legendary radio personality, Casey Kasem, has passed at the age of 82.
Casey Kasem, who entertained radio listeners for almost four decades as the host of countdown shows such as “American Top 40” and “Casey’s Top 40,” died early Sunday, according to a Facebook post from his daughter Kerri Kasem.
The news was confirmed by Casey’s Kasem’s agent, Don Pitts.
Casey Kasem was 82 and had been hospitalized in Washington state for two weeks.
“Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends,” Kasem’s children — Kerri, Mike and Julie — wrote in a statement released by Kasem’s representative, Danny Deraney.
“Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken … The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad.”
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 3:25 a.m. Sunday, a family member said.
Casey Kasem had been suffering from Lewy body disease, the most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s.
Kasem rose to fame in 1970 when he became the host of the “American Top 40,” the syndicated radio show that counted down the top 40 popular songs in United States based on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 music chart.
“When we first went on the air, I thought we would be around for at least 20 years. I knew the formula worked. I knew people tuned in to find out what the No. 1 record was,” he told Variety in 1989.
A memorial will be held at Kasem’s daughter, Julie Kasem’s home in Northridge, CA on Saturday, June 21st.
He is survived by his wife Jean Kasem and four children.