He's now reached the stars: Radio icon Casey Kasem dies aged 82
Casey Kasem, the King of Countdown, died at 82 on Father's Day, his publicist confirmed Sunday. What a great loss to the entertainment world.
The beloved media icon died at 3:23 a.m., surrounded by family and friends at a Washington hospital, according to a statement issued by his family.
"Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken," wrote his daughter Kerri Kasem on Twitter and Facebook from the family. "The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our dad."
Kasem was born Kemal Amin Kasem in 1932. He's of Lebanese origin, whose parents immigrated and settled in Detroit. The radio personality's career began as a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio in Korea after he was drafted into the military.
Kasem's long and prosperous career was crowned by hosting the hugely popular American Top 40 for four decades. His presenting style was unmatched; he presented the week's hits with a sincerity and authority that made him essential listening for million of Americans every weekend.
His famous signoff was also inspirational: "And don't forget: keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."
Kasem was not only Kasem, he was well-known as the voice of Shaggy in Scooby Doo, as well as voicing several of the Transformers on TV, and he was an emcee for Jerry Lewis' annual telethon.
A passionate soul about world issues, Kasem spoke out about the environment, homelessness and the Arab community. He also spoke out against racial profiling and against war in the Middle East.