Radio icon Casey Kasem, best known for his role as the host of the American Top 40 music countdown franchise, has died at the age of 82. (Via Flickr / Alan Light)
The radio star's daughter, Kerri Kasem, broke the news of her father's death Sunday morning via Twitter, writing: "Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends. ... 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."
In the final years of his life, Kasem reportedly suffered from Lewy body disease, a common cause of dementia.
A Los Angeles Supreme Court Judge decided Wednesday to allow Kerri to take her father off life support, which reportedly upholds Kasem’s health directive. (Via KNBC)
That directive read in part, “If the extension of my life would result in a mere biological existence, devoid of cognitive function, with no reasonable hope for normal functioning, then I do not desire any form of life sustaining procedures, including nutrition and hydration.” (Via Los Angeles Times)
Kasem’s second wife, Jean, was furious after the decision, saying:
“The judge decided to kill my husband today. … Kerri Kasem and all of her hired liars decided to kill my husband today. They all have blood on their hands.” (Via TMZ)
Kasem and his family have made headlines in recent months for an alleged dispute between Kasem's children and his wife. The children allege Kasem's wife has kept them from seeing their father, and both have fought for conservatorship of Kasem and his estate. (Via CNN, ABC)
Aside from being the original host of American Top 40 countdown, Kasem was also an actor, providing the voices for several cartoon characters, commercial narration and — at one point — the promo voice for NBC.
Kasem's career spanned more than 50 years; in that time, he was inducted into the National Broadcaster's Hall of Fame in 1985 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1992. Kasem received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981.
We thought we'd let Kasem sign off with the inspiring words he used during his years as a radio host.
"Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars." (Via American Top 40)