Casey Kasem (4/27/32-6/15/14)
In the 1940s, “Make Believe Ballroom” reportedly inspired Kasem to follow a career in radio and later host a national radio hits countdown show.
He was an American disc jockey, radio personality and actor, best known for being the host of the music radio programs American Top 40, American Top 20, and American Top 10 from 1970 until his retirement in 2009.
Kasem founded the American Top 40 franchise in 1970 along with Don Bustany, Tom Rounds and Ron Jacobs, and hosted it from 1970 to 1988 and from 1998 to 2004. Between January 1989 and early 1998, he was the host of Casey's Top 40, Casey's Hot 20, and Casey's Countdown. Also beginning in 1998, Kasem hosted two adult contemporary spin-offs of American Top 40; American Top 20 and American Top 10. Kasem retired from AT20 and AT10 on July 4, 2009 and both shows ended on that day.
In October 2013, Kerri Kasem said her father was suffering from Parkinson's disease, which a doctor had diagnosed in 2007, but a few months later, she said he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, which is often difficult to differentiate from Parkinson's. Due to his condition, he was no longer able to speak.
On June 15, 2014, Kasem died at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington at the age of 82. He was survived by his wife, four children, and four grandchildren.
If the beat gets to the audience, and the message touches them, you've got a hit. Casey Kasem
For the most part, that message hasn't changed a lot over the years - love is still love, and heartbreak is still heartbreak. Casey Kasem
American Top 40, Casey Kasem The 70's
American Top 40, Casey Kasem July 24, 1982
American Top 40, Casey Kasem February 15, 1986