Dick Clark, the television host and an entrepreneur who helped bring rock n roll into the mainstream on “American Bandstand,” died on Wednesday, 18th April, at the age of 82. He was also involved in producing and hosting a vast range of programming, from game shows to the New Year’s Event countdown.
According to a spokesman Paul Shefrin, Clark had a heart attack on Wednesday morning at Saint John’s hospital in Santa Monica, where he had gone the day before for an out-patient procedure.
Dick Clark suffered from a stroke in 2004 that affected his ability to speak and walk, but Clark did not stop and had continued performing.
Clark began his career in the mail room of Utica, N.Y, radio station in 1945. By the age of 26, he was a broadcasting veteran, with nine years’ experience on radio and TV stations in Syracuse, Utica, N.Y., and Philadelphia. He held a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. While in Philadelphia, Clark befriended McMahon, who later credited Clark for introducing him to his future “Tonight Show” boss, Johnny Carson. Clark kept more than records spinning with his Dick Clark Productions.
Long dubbed “the world’s oldest teenager” because of his boyish appearance, Clark bridged the rebellious new music scene and traditional show business, and was equally comfortable whether chatting about music with Sam Cooke or bantering with Ed McMahon about TV bloopers. He thrived as the founder of Dick Clark Productions, supplying movies, games, music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. “The $25,000 Pyramid,” ”TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes” and the American Music Awards are his well known credits.
For a time in the 1980s, he had shows on all three networks was listed among the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans. Clark also was part of radio as a partner in the United Stations Radio Network, which provided programs including Clark’s to thousands of stations.
When Michael Jackson died in June 2009, Clark recalled working with him since he was a child, adding, “of all the thousands of entertainers I have worked with, Michael was THE most outstanding. Many have tried and will try to copy him, but his talent will never be matched.”
Clark joined “Bandstand” in 1956 after Bob Horn, who’d been the host since its 1952 debut, was fired. Under Clark’s guidance, it went from a local Philadelphia show to a national phenomenon.