BOSTON (CelebrityAccess) — Tom Magliozzi, the former host of the long-running NPR radio talk show "Car Talk" has died of complications related to Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.
Magliozzi and his brother Ray, assuming the sobriquet "Click and Clack", launched the weekly show in 1977 on Boston's WBUR where listeners would call in to discuss problems with cars and auto mechanics. With a healthy dose of humor and self-deprecating banter between the brothers, the show proved to be popular, becoming the station's #3 show and was syndicated by NPR in 1987, eventually being broadcast on more than 660 stations nationwide to a listener audience of 3.3 million.
In 2012, the duo announced that they were retiring, but NPR still airs re-runs of the show.
A native of Cambridge, Mass, Magliozzi was a graduate of MIT, with a degree in chemical engineering and with his brother, ran a successful garage.
“He and his brother changed public broadcasting forever,” said Doug Berman, the brothers’ longtime producer in a statement. “Before Car Talk, NPR was formal, polite, cautious….even stiff. By being entirely themselves, without pretense, Tom and Ray single-handedly changed that, and showed that real people are far more interesting than canned radio announcers. And every interesting show that has come after them owes them a debt of gratitude."
He is survived by his first wife Julia Magliozzi; second wife, Joanne Magliozzi; his children, Lydia Icke, Alex, and Anna Magliozzi; his brother Ray Magliozzi; his sister Lucille Magliozzi; five grandchildren; and his close companion of recent years, Sylvia Soderberg, NPR said in a statement. – Staff Writers