DALLAS, TX (CelebrityAccess) — Don Imus, the longtime talk radio host and one of the leading “shock jocks” of the 1980s has died. He was 79.
According to the New York Times, Imus died on Friday at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center but a cause of death was not disclosed.
In 2009, Imus revealed that he was battling prostate cancer and at the time said he had decided against recommended radiation treatments and would instead seek “holistic” remedies.
Imus was a veteran of talk radio with a career that spanned more than five decades. He started his career in entertainment as a singer-songwriter before he transitioned to the California radio station KUTY where he broadcast as Billy Sol Hargis.
He quickly gained recognition in the local market and in 1971, he parlayed his success into a high profile gig at New York’s WNBC where he would remain for the next two decades, with only a brief hiatus in Cleveland while WNBC reorganized in 1977.
As well, he began a successful career as a stand-up comic, regularly appearing in New York comedy clubs such as The Bitter End until he retired from the stage in 1985.
After WNBC signed off in 1988, he jumped to its successor, the sports radio format WFAN where he hosted the morning show until he was fired 2007 after describing a women’s college basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.”
While at WFAN, Imus played a major role in funding raising for wounded war veterans, helping to raise more than 60 million for the Texas-based Center for the Intrepid. He was also a vocal critic of poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, with his reporting on the facility presaging a national scandal that led to resignations from senior officials, including Lieutenant General Kevin Kiley, who was serving as Army Surgeon General at the time.
Imus announced he planned to retire in 2018 with his final show slated for December of that year but signed off early in March as Cumulus Media entered bankruptcy.
During the course of his career, Imus won numerous accolades, including four Marconi Awards and he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.