Dick Clark Dead at 82

'World's Oldest Teenager' launched iconic American Bandstand, New Year's Rock'n Eve, music careers and many TV shows.

Dick Clark, who brought rock and roll to the masses as the longtime host of "American Bandstand," is dead after suffering a heart attack, according to several news reports.

The always smiling 82-year-old TV producer and host had been at St. John's Hospital in Los Angeles after undergoing an outpatient procedure on Tuesday, according to TMZ. Clark reportedly suffered the heart attack following the procedure and died on Wednesday after failed attempts to resuscitate him.

The Mount Vernon, NY-born Clark endured a long list of health troubles over the years; a stroke in 2004 that caused him to retire as host of "New Years' Rockin' Eve," the show he created in 1972. Although Ryan Seacrest took over as host, Clark made brief appearances on the show each New Year's Eve, his health problems increasingly obvious as the years went on.

Because of his youthful appearance, Clark was often nicknamed "the world's oldest teenager." He also, though, was a savvy businessman, one who masterminded several popular game shows and music programs.

But perhaps he was most well-known as host of "American Bandstand," one of network TV's longest-running series, airing from 1957 to 1987.

That show introduced countless stars—including many African-American stars—to fans. They ranged from Buddy Holly and Bill Haley to James Brown and Chubby Checker, Michael Jackson to Madonna. The "American Bandstand" paved the way for Don Cornelius to launch "Soul Train".

Obviously Clark loved all kinds of music but he admitted in more than one interview that "disco' was his favorite. He once said: "I don't make culture ... I sell it." Indeed, he was a born salesman. At Mount Vernon's A.B. Davis High School in 1947, he was voted "Most Likely to Sell the Brooklyn Bridge."

Clark was married three times, had three children and is survived by his current wife, Kari Wigton.

Clark notoriously hated to say goodbye and refused to utter the word on any show he ever hosted. Instead, he ended every broadcast with his signature salute, “So long.”

What do you remember about Dick Clark? Tell us in the comments section below.


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