The new was first announced by Kasem’s daughter, who wrote on Facebook:
“Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends,” Kerri Kasem wrote. “Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, 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. With love, Kerri, Mike and Julie.”
In 2009, Kasem was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which had recently progressed to such an advanced point that he could no longer speak. Kasem had been receiving care at Seattle-based facility for some time, and his ongoing treatment had become the source of a vicious family feud.
Several years ago, his current wife, Jean Kasem, and his children from his first marriage (Kerri, Julie, and Mike) began a litigious battle regarding his placement and well-being. In May, the case finally reached a head when the Kasem children attempted to locate their father to a Seattle hospital after Jean Kasem had moved him without any prior notification. (Jean Kasem reportedly has long history of placing restrictions on the children’s visitation.) Ultimately, Kerri Kasem was named her father’s temporary caretaker.
Earlier this week, a judge in Casey Kasem’s conservatorship case reversed an earlier ruling that doctors would be required to keep him alive with nutrients and medications. According to TMZ, the Kasem children said their father had previously drafted a health directive document that stated, “If the extension of my life would result in 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.” On Wednesday, Kasem was taken off life support and placed under a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order by his immediate family.
Widely regarded as the “Voice of Top 40 radio”, Kasem was born April 27th, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. In his 50-plus year career, spanning from 1954 to his retirement in July 2009, Kasem hosted a number of influential radio programs. That includes American Top 40, American Top 20, American Top 10, Casey’s Top 40, Casey’s Hot 20, Casey’s Countdown, and two latter-day adult contemporary spin-offs, American Top 20 and American Top 10.
In addition to his work on radio, Kasem served as a television host in the ’60s and ’70s and was a rather prolific voice actor. His list of characters includes Robin on SuperFriends, Alexander Cabot III from Josie and the Pussycats, several Autobots and Decepticons from the Transformers series, Merry from The Return of the King, and, perhaps most famously, Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, whom he voiced for some 40-plus years.
Below, check out a few career highlights. And for one last time, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”