The legendary radio broadcaster died at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas. He was hospitalized on Christmas Eve, but details regarding the cause of his death have yet to be released.
He is survived by his wife, Deirdre, who he wed in 1994, and children Wyatt, Zachary, Nadine, Ashley, Elizabeth and Toni.
“Don loved and adored [his wife] Deirdre, who unconditionally loved him back,” Don’s family said in a statement issued to Us. “[He] loved spending his time watching Wyatt become a highly-skilled, champion rodeo rider and calf roper, and loved and supported Zachary, who first met the Imus family at age 10 when he participated in the Imus Ranch program for kids with cancer, having battled and overcome leukemia, eventually becoming a member of the Imus family and Don and Deirdre’s second son.”
In the wake of Don’s passing, a service will be held in his honor. The date of the funeral has yet to be determined.
The controversial radio personality, who often sported a cowboy hat, was one of the pioneers of his genre. Don, a California native, hosted Imus in the Morning for nearly 50 years before announcing his retirement in January 2018. CBS and MSNBC canceled Don’s radio show in 2007 after he made an offensive comment about Rutgers women’s basketball team, but he made his return to radio eight months later under new contracts with Citadel Radio and RFD-TV.
“March 29th, 2018, will be the last ‘Imus in the Morning Program,’” he tweeted at the time. “Turn out the lights … the party’s over.”
Before signing off for good, Don opened up about what he would miss most about working within his field. “I always had it in my head I was talking to one person,” he said on CBS Sunday Morning in March 2018. “I felt that when I walked in there and sat down and turned the mic on that I was — that I was talking to you.”
During his last-ever show, he noted that he knew in his “heart” that there was “nobody ever better on the radio” than him. The radio shock jock, then 77 years old, added: “Nobody ever did this.”
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