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After a public battle between his children and wife over his care, legendary radio host Casey Kasem has died. He was 82-years-old.
Kasem’s death was confirmed on Facebook by his daughter, Kerri Kasem, early Sunday morning. Her publicist, Danny Deraney, also confirmed the news to the Hollywood Reporter.
Kasem died at 3:22 a.m. at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington from complications of dementia.
“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,” Kerri Kasem wrote on Facebook. “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.”
Kasem’s legendary career included American Top 40, which began in Hollywood in 1970 and continued making radio appearances through 2009. His time on radio began in the 1950s, after he was drafted into the U.S. Army and did time as a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network..
In addition to his work on the radio, Kasem appeared in films and voiced cartoon characters, including Scooby-Doo’s Shaggy character.
This past fall, Kasem’s oldest children - Kerri, Mike and Julie - fought with their stepmother, Jean Kasem, over their father’s well being. She had initially refused to let them visit him, but eventually relented, although Kerri decided not to sign an agreement with Jean.
In May, there was an investigation into Kasem’s location and it turned out that Jean had taken him to Washington state. A judge did allow Kerri to have him taken to a hospital and during the week, he was moved to end-of-life hospice care and Kerri had feeding and fluid tubes removed.
In addition to his children and Jean, he is survived by his brother, Mouner.
image courtesy of Walter McBride/INFphoto.com