Casey Kasem (real name Kemal Amin Kasem) passed away at 3:23am this morning at St. Anthony’s Hospital. He was surrounded by Kerri, Mike, Julie, and close family and friends, but his wife was not by his side when he passed away. As of now, the exact cause of death is still unknown but he had been suffering from Lewy body dementia, a degenerative disease similar to Parkinson’s, and had been hospitalised in critical condition.
Casey worked as an Armed Forces Radio Korea Network DJ and announcer while serving in the US Army during the Korean War in 1952. He later worked at several stations in the United States and launched the show American Top 40 in 1970. He was succeeded by Ryan Seacrest in 2004. Upon hearing the news, Ryan Seacrest said in a statement to E! News:
It’s a sad day for the broadcasting community and for radio listeners around the world. When I was a kid, I would listen to Casey Kasem’s AT40 show every weekend, and dream about someday becoming a radio DJ. So when decades later I took over his AT40 countdown show, it was a surreal moment. Casey had a distinctive friendly on-air voice, and he was just as affable and nice if you had the privilege to be in his company. He’ll be greatly missed by all of us.
While his daughter, Kerri Kasem, took to her Facebook page to say:
In addition to his radio work, Casey also provided the voice of Shaggy (his personal claim to fame) and other characters in several Scooby-Doo cartoons. He also made two memorable appearances as himself on the hit 90s teen series, “Saved by the Bell” and his voice was also heard in the 1984 movie “Ghostbusters”, which featured Jean in a party scene.
But perhaps he’ll be most remembered for his famous radio catchphrase, “And don’t forget, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
Thank you, Casey Kasem. Rest in peace.