Jim Lange, the first host of The Dating Game, died on Feb. 25 at the age of 81. Credit: ABC via Getty Images

Jim Lange, the first host of The Dating Game, died on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The game show host was 81.

Lange's wife Nancy Fleming confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday that her husband passed after suffering a heart attack at his home in Mill Valley, Calif.

The St. Paul, Minn., native is best known for his career as host of ABC's The Dating Game, which debuted in 1964. After appearing on the show for more than a decade, he went on to host other game shows including Hollywood Connection, $100,000 Name That Tune, and The New Newlywed Game.

After his retirement from broadcasting, Lange started working as a radio DJ in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. He became the morning host of The Lange Gang on KABL in San Francisco, which played classics from the Big Band era to the 1970s.

"As much as he's known for his television work, his real love was radio," his wife said. "He loved doing local radio, especially before it was computerized."

Lange is survived by his wife, sister, five children, two stepchildren, and four grandchildren.