Casey Kasem Dies: Legendary Radio DJ, American Top 40 Founder and Host Dead at 82
Casey Kasem, renowned radio legend and host of American Top 40, died Sunday, June 15, after being hospitalized for an infected bedsore. He was 82.
"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," his daughter Kerri Kasem wrote on her Facebook page.
Kasem was admitted and listed in critical condition at St. Anthony Hospital in western Washington state on Sunday, June 1. Kasem was suffering from Lewy body dementia and was bedridden for some time leading up to his hospitalization.
Kasem's long radio career began in the mid-'50s, after he was drafted into the army and served in Korea. Overseas, he became a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network.
In 1970, he co-founded American Top 40, and served as its host up until 1988. After taking a ten-year hiatus from Top 40—during which he hosted Casey's Top 40—Kasem eventually jumped on again in 1998 and hosted the program through 2004. (Ryan Seacrest succeeded him in the role.)
In addition to his hosting career, the Detroit native also provided vocals as Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo franchise. He also starred in several low-budget films.
The radio icon leaves behind a beleaguered, broken family that has been fighting for control over his care for years. The feud erupted last year when his three grown children with his first wife, Linda Myers—Mike, Julie, and Kerri—claimed their stepmom Jean Kasem was preventing them from seeing their sick father. Though a settlement was reached in December between Jean and his eldest daughter Kerri, the saga continued through May after Kasem suddenly went missing.
Kerri was given temporary control over Kasem's treatment on Friday, June 6. She decided to stop giving her father water, medication, and food after doctors had informed her that feeding and hydrating him would create more pain. A judge ruled Monday that Kasem was to be fed, hydrated and medicated as a court-appointed legal team reviewed his medical condition.
Foreshadowing his death on Friday, Kerri released a statement through her spokesperson that read her father "wont be with us much longer."