Radio legend Casey Kasem dead at 82

Radio legend Casey Kasem dead at 82

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Casey Kasem, the legendary radio broadcaster whose style set the benchmark for Top 40 shows, has died. He was 82.

Danny Deraney, publicist for Kasem's daughter, Kerri, says Kasem died Sunday morning.

"We are confirming that Casey Kasem passed away at 3:23 a.m. this morning at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, WA," Deraney's statement said. "He was surrounded by Kerri, Mike, Julie and close family and friends. No cause of death given. The family will not be doing any press at this time."

Kasem's "American Top 40" began on July 4, 1970, in Los Angeles. The No. 1 song on his list then was "Mama Told Me Not to Come," by Three Dog Night.

The show continued in varying forms -- and for varying syndicators -- until his retirement in 2009. In his signoff, he would tell viewers: "And don't forget: keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

Kasem, who reportedly suffered from Lewy Body disease, was the subject of a contentious family battle between his second wife Jean and his three adult children from his first marriage over his care.

Kasem’s death comes just days after a judge granted his daughter, Kerri Kasem, the authority to withhold medication, food and fluids from her ailing father.

In the ruling last Wednesday, attorney Troy Martin said, Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy determined that giving Kasem food and fluids would be harmful and cause more pain for the 82-year-old former radio personality.

His daughter Kerri initially implemented the end-of life measures on June 6.

It was a sad, startling end for a man whose voice had entertained and informed music lovers worldwide.

"American Top 40" expanded to hundreds of stations, including Armed Forces Radio, and continued in varying forms -- and for varying syndicators -- into the 21st century. He stepped down from "American Top 40" in 2004 and retired altogether in 2009, completing his musical journey with Shinedown's "Second Chance."

Ryan Seacrest, who took over the countdown from Kasem in 2009, said in a statement that as a child, he'd listen to Kasem's show every weekend "and dream about someday becoming a radio DJ."

He says Kasem had a distinctive friendly on-air voice and will be greatly missed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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