'Pioneer Of Radio Shock Jock' Broadcaster Don Imus Dies At 79

'Pioneer Of Radio Shock Jock' Broadcaster Don Imus Dies At 79

After a controversial career in broadcasting, he announced his retirement in late January 2018. His words were: "Turn out the lights... the party's over" and he died two years after.

Don Imus, the famed pioneer of the radio shock jock genre, died on Friday. He was 79 years old. NBC reports that he passed away in less than two years after retiring, as per a family statement released to them. He was hospitalized on Friday at the Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, where he breathed his last, his family said. The cause of death was not released to the press, but earlier this year, Imus said on air that he was suffering from prostate cancer. He is survived by four daughters, Nadine, Ashley, Elizabeth and Toni, and two sons, Wyatt and Zachary.


"Deirdre, his wife of 25 years, and his son Wyatt, 21, were at his side, and his son Lt. Zachary Don Cates is returning from military service overseas," the family said. Imus was no doubt controversial over his days as a morning personality star. His last airing on the radio was on March 29th, 2018 where he announced his retirement. His message to the fans was "Turn out the lights... the party's over".


Imus who was a loud and proud radioman was well known for docking his outsize cowboy hat. He commonly made several controversial and offensive statements, as was his style. Back in 2007, MSNBC took off their simulcast of the "Imus in the Morning" radio program after he used a racial slur to describe Rutgers University's women's basketball team, which were mostly comprised of African Americans. The parent company of NBC News and MSNBC is NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast. 


Later, he was fired from his show on CBS radio for the same remark. He then returned to broadcasting at New York's WABC (AM) after eight months of being off the air. The late radioman hailed from Riverside, California. He had grown up on a cattle ranch near Kingman, Arizona, and started his career in radio in New York in 1971, according to a bio released by his family after he passed on Friday. "He graduated with no honors and no skills, a rare stroke of luck because a broadcasting career required neither," it says.


His death was met with statements from his friends and colleagues who were anguished at the news of his demise. "He will long be remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio," New York sports radio legend Mike Francesa said on Twitter. Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" said on Twitter that the program "obviously owes its format to Don Imus. No one else could have gotten away with that much talk on cable news."


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