Casey Kasem, Top 40 Countdown King, Dies at 82

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 15 2014 1:17 PM

Casey Kasem, Top 40 Countdown King, Dies at 82

2642223CA711_radio
Kasey Casem with his award backckstage at the 2003 Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin Casino Resort in Las Vegas

Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

Casey Kasem, whose voice came to represent Top 40 radio as the host of countdown shows for decades, died early Sunday morning. Kerri Kasem, Casey's daughter, announced the news of his passing on her Facebook page.

When Kasem did his first American Top 40 show in 1970, the top song was Mama Told Me Not to Come by Three Dog Night, notes the Associated Press. He hosted American Top 40 for a total of 24 years, from 1970-1988 and then from 1998-2004, when he passed the torch on to Ryan Seacrest, notes People. In that decade-long gap he hosted a number of other countdown shows, which he continued to do until July 2009. Throughout all the years, Kasem’s signoff became legendary: “And don’t forget: keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Although best known for his radio work, Kasem was also an actor and did voice-over work on a number of animated shows, including the role of Shaggy on Scooby Doo.

Advertisement

Recently, Kasem had been in the news due to the legal battle over his care between his wife, Jean Kasem, and his grown children from his first marriage. Kasem had advanced Parkinson’s disease and suffered from dementia. In 2013, his children filed a petition to take control of his health care, alleging his wife was trying to isolate him from friends and family. On June 11, a judge ruled that Kasem’s daughter could withhold food and medicine from her ailing father, reports the Los Angeles Times. Kerri Kasem also wrote about that decision on Facebook:

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

A Simple Way to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.