Published Jun 15, 2014Casey Kasem, a veteran radio personality who hosted the music countdown show American Top 40, has died in hospital in Gig Harbor, WA, due to compilations from dementia. He was 82.
Kasem passed away in the early hours of this morning (June 15). He had previously been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, which has similar symptoms to Parkinson's.
His daughter Kerri wrote on Facebook [via Billboard]:
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.
Kasem began his radio career in the '50s, and he hosted an army radio show during the Korean War. He launched American Top 40 in 1970. He hosted the program until 2004 — apart from a decade-long break in the '80s and '90s — and was ultimately succeeded by Ryan Seacrest. He also helmed the TV spinoff America's Top 10. Later in his career, he hosted the the radio programs American Top 20 and American Top 10 before finally retiring in 2009.
He also worked a voice actor, and was best known as the long-running voice of Shaggy in Scooby-Doo cartoons.
In his final years, Kasem's three children from his first marriage were involved in a public dispute with the DJ's wife, Jean Kasem, over the right to visit their father.
The radio host is also survived by Liberty Jean, his daughter with Jean.