Casey Kasem Dead at Age 82

  • Industry, Fans Mourn the Passing of the Longtime American Top 40 Host and Voiceover Actor

    June 15, 2014 at 7:19 AM (PT) courtesy
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    Following months of legal family wrangling over his care and access to seeing him, ALL ACCESS is deeply saddened to report that the legendary CASEY KASEM, who was literally the voice of a generation as host and co-creator of the AMERICAN TOP 40 syndicated radio show, has died on FATHER’s DAY (6/15) at age 82 after complications from Lewy Body Dementia, a degenerative condition similar to Parkinson’s Disease.

    KERRI KASEM @KerriKasem Tweeted the sad news: “Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends, (at St. Anthony’s Hospital, Gig Harbor, Wash.) 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, born APRIL 27th, 1932 in DETROIT, MI. to LEBANESE DRUZE parents, had a given first name of KEMAL. KASEM attended WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY in DETROIT.

    Drafted into the US Army in 1952, KASEM was a DJ for the ARMED FORCES RADIO NETWORK while serving in KOREA. There were stops in CLEVELAND, BUFFALO and LOS ANGELES before his fame would grow exponentially. On JULY 4th, 1970, AMERICAN TOP 40 was born. KASEM would later say that first show took 18 hours to record and had only seven affiliates.

    He hosted the weekly countdown until 1988, and again from 1998 to 2004, when RYAN SEACREST succeeded him.

    On his last broadcast of AMERICAN TOP 20, one of two AC spinoffs he hosted until 2009, KASEM reflected on the beginnings of AT40, saying “DON [BUSTANY, longtime business partner] and I believed, and so did a growing number of listeners.”

    The countdown featured the popular segment “Long Distance Dedication.” But KASEM said it wasn’t part of the show until 1978 when a staffer found the letter in the mail. Over the years, more than 3,000 dedications were read on the show. At the height of his popularity — the 1980s — KASEM took a version of his syndicated radio countdown to TV. He used the burgeoning music video craze on AMERICA’S TOP 10.

  • His signature line was “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”



  1. His family battles aside, (which had nothing to do with us,) I fail to understand why all the fuss about Casey Kasem.

    Some media reports tout him as a “legendary” deejay.

    A legend in his own mind, perhaps and even a nice guy, but why a legend ?

    He was a prim and proper “wholesome” deejay, perhaps in the vein of Dick Clark, who said and did all the right things and yeah, kissed all the right asses.

    But his American top forty show radio show was really not that extraordinary. He was essentially a well paid slave for the recording business and that well oiled machine that, for many years, made milions and millions of dollars on the backs of very poorly paid deejays at lesser known radio stations.

    If you want to compare him to another radio personality of his era who perhaps made much more social impact, the late radio commentator Paul Harvey comes to mind as a REAL legend.

  2. The show was about as exciting as watching paint dry. He was a nice guy, who put thousands of deejays out of work, and was a paid shill for the crooks at the record companies.

    I wish him a safe journey – but, a legend, no.

    Lan Roberts was a legend. Don Steele was a legend. This guy was a mediocre talent and a dull “safe” show, I detested.

  3. My family just loved to hear Casey on the radio and we would wait each week to hear his show. Even when we knew that it was an old show we still listened anyway. He will be missed by all of us. I thought that the fighting in his family over this wonderful man was wrong. He should have been cared for by all in the right way and not like this. The stress even if he didn’t know all about it was one of the things that could have killed him, and even if he could not understand all about it because they say his mind was not there he knew something and this was not right. We all should have just loved him. Love and respect to him. We already miss

  4. I can’t believe the first two comments here. The guy isn’t even cold yet and the knives come out for him. Where is the compassion for the those Casey left behind? Having been able to watch Elton John ‘live’ on Bonnaroo tonight, he dedicated his song “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, and dedicated it to his ‘little angel’, Casey Kasem. I know he helped many in the industry over the years. I heard a tribute to him on NW this afternoon and it was not very nice at all. Most unfitting I found. Casey was in studio, fluffed a line and yes, he didn’t handle it well at all and it was all recorded the continuing goddams were too much for my ears. Obviously censuring him when he said F**K. Personally I would rather hear f*ck, than goddamn


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