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Radio Legend Casey Kasem Dies

Casey Kasem
Amanda Edwards, Getty Images

Casey Kasem has died. The legendary voice of radio’s ‘American Top 40′ as well as other radio and television programs was 82 years old.

The family broke the news on Sunday morning. “Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends,” daughter Kerri Kasem wrote on Facebook. “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 Detroit-born radio and television host was suffering from sepsis, dementia and Parkinson’s Disease. His health had been failing for some time before his final hospitalization.

Kasem began hosting ‘American Top 40′ in 1970. It was a groundbreaking countdown radio show that spotlighted the day’s biggest and best artists and always included a long distance dedication, plus stories and interesting facts about each song. The show ran until 1988, but was picked back up 10 years later before Ryan Seacrest took it over in 2004.

His career stretched far outside radio. Kasem was also known as the voice of Shaggy from ‘Scooby-Doo,’ in addition to several other characters. The radio program led to a spinoff television series called ‘America’s Top 10,’ which he hosted from 1980-91.

The 82-year-old had been hospitalized since June 1, and the final days of his life were filled with contention and litigation as his children and his wife battled over his treatment. For a few days last month, the children did not know where he was. Daughter Kerri’s statement focused on her father, not the drama that proceeded his death.

“The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad.”

“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars,” were the words Kasem used to end his radio show. Today (June 15) those words seem to hold new meaning for his millions of fans and supporters.

Next: See Country Stars Who Died in 2014

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