Radio DJ and voiceover legend Casey Kasem has died in California at the age of 82, according to a report from ABC News.
Kasem began his career as a disc jockey in Flint, Mi. before joining the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network in 1952. He became famous as the voice of the weekly radio countdown show “American Top 40″, which he hosted from 1970 to 1988. A revived version of the show hosted by Kasem ran from 1998-2004.
His familiar sign-off at the end of each show “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars” became his radio calling card.
His voice could be heard on television as Scooby-Doo’s hippie sidekick, Shaggy, as well as in many other commercials and animated features, including the Transformers, Sesame Street, the Super-Friends, and Battle of the Planets. He also made numerous cameo appearances in TV and movies.
The beloved DJ was a devout vegan, and was a tireless supporter of animal rights and environmental causes. Kasem also saw a great need to improved Arab-Jewish relations, being of Lebanese origin.
Kasem’s health had been failing in recent years, and in 2013, his daughter Kerri said he was suffering from a form of dementia. A family battle for the rights to see and to take care of Kasem went on until recently, when Kerri was granted conservatorship by the courts.
“I just didn’t want to say goodbye. Every station I was at, I never said goodbye,” once said. “I don’t know why.”
We didn’t want to say goodbye either, Casey. Your voice is sorely missed.