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Shock Jock Don Imus Loses His Battle With Prostate Cancer

BNA Staff



Loses His Battle With Prostate Cancer

, a legendary Talk radio host who became famous for his morning show at the former WNBC-AM in New York and, later, at WFAN, died Friday morning from complications tied to prostate cancer.

He was 79 years old.

According to media reports,  was hospitalized Christmas Eve at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center, in College Station, Tex. An exact cause of death was not immediately known. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer 10 years ago.

For years, the syndicated  in the Morning program attracted a loyal following of older men, who were magnetized by the host’s acerbic politically tinged comedy and bits that had its origins in the 1970s, when  was one of the most well-known — and controversial — radio stars in Cleveland and in New York.

His syndicated show was brought to radio stations across the U.S. by ABC Radio Networks and, later, via Cumulus Media.It was also simulcast on the Fox Business Network for a period.

In a statement provided to the Hollywood Reporter, the  family said Don “loved and adored” his wife Deirdre. It also noted his support for children with cancer through the  Ranch.

The family will be holding a small, private funeral, Radio Ink reports.

’ career included highs and lows. In 2007, CBS Radio and MSNBC reacted to comments made by the host considered derogatory toward members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team by dropping  in the Morning.

He would find a home at WABC-AM 770, and syndication via Cumulus predecessor Citadel.

Perhaps the height of ’ career in radio was in the early 1980s, when he served as the morning host of WNBC-AM 660 in New York. His reign at the top of the ratings was challenged, however, by the arrival on Aug. 30, 1982, of Howard Sternas the eventual afternoon host.

 in the Morning first found a home in New York at WNBC in 1971. It was very “in-your-face” and pre-“shock jock” at a time when the most edgy hosts in radio had been the late Bob Crane at KNX-AM in Los Angeles during the 1960s.

 joined WNBC just three years after starting his career at KUTY-AM in Palmdale, Calif. He then, briefly, worked at KJOY in Stockton, and then at KXOA/Sacramento. In 1970, he was hired by WGAR in Cleveland, where he found a following.

That led him to WNBC, where he began on a December morning 48 years ago. He reportedly had a $100,000 per year salary — in 1972.

More soon from RBR+TVBR …

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