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Casey Kasem, Legendary Radio DJ, Dies

Casey Kasem accepts a Radio Icon award during the Radio Music Awards in 2003.
Joe Cavaretta
Casey Kasem accepts a Radio Icon award during the Radio Music Awards in 2003.

Casey Kasem, the legendary radio DJ and original host of American Top 40, died Sunday morning.

His daughter, Kerri Kasem, announced his death on Facebook, saying he had died surrounded by friends and family.

"Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken," Kasem said.

Besides being a kingmaker in the music industry, Kasem was also a voice actor. He voiced cartoon characters including Shaggy on Scooby-Doo and several of the Transformers on TV.

More recently, Kasem's family was involved in an emotional battle over end-of-life issues. Kasem had been suffering from Lewy Body Dementia. One side of his family wanted to continue providing life-sustaining treatment, while others wanted to fulfill what they said was their father's wish not to be kept alive if it "would result in a mere biological existence, devoid of cognitive function, with no reasonable hope for normal functioning."

Eventually, a judge sided with Kerri Kasem, who decided to stop treating Kasem.

Kasem was 82 years old.

Update at 11:53 a.m. ET. A Full Obit:

We've now posted a full obit of Kasem by NPR's Bilal Qureshi.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.