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Dick Clark Dead at 82

By Mary Johnson | April 18, 2012 4:14pm | Updated on April 18, 2012 5:12pm
Dick Clark died on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at the age of 82.
Dick Clark died on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at the age of 82.
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MANHATTAN — Dick Clark, the beloved host of "American Bandstand" and the annual New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square, died on Wednesday, ABC News reported. He was 82 years old.

His agent, Paul Shefrin, said Clark passed away after suffering a "massive heart attack" on Wednesday morning.

Clark, who was widely referred to as "America's oldest teenager," hosted his famous New Year’s Rockin’ Eve festivities in Times Square for more than three decades. In 2004, Clark stepped aside after suffering a stroke, but he returned to the stage for New Year's Eve 2005.

This past December, Clark celebrated his 40th year hosting New Year's Rockin' Eve, topping off the night with a televised kiss with his wife, Kari. 

Clark is survived by his wife and his three children, RAC, Duane and Cindy, according to a statement provided to The New York Times.

He was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., in 1929. Over the years, he became best known for his work on "American Bandstand" and New Year's Rockin' Eve, but he was also a prolific producer, putting together multiple awards shows including the Emmys, the Golden Globes and the American Music Awards.

His production prowess didn't stop at awards shows. The Museum of Broadcast Communications found that Dick Clark Productions has created more than 7,500 hours of television programming, including more than 30 series and 250 specials, ABC News reported.

The stroke he suffered in 2004 left Clark partially paralyzed. When he returned to the New Year’s Eve stage the following year, he told the audience: “I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again.”

“It's been a long, hard fight,” he added. “My speech is not perfect, but I'm getting there."

In a statement, the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, the co-producers of the Times Square New Year's Eve, said they will remember Clark every year during the holiday season.

"For 40 years, Dick Clark has been an iconic part of New Year's Eve in Times Square whose charm and singular presence as a television host have helped make New Year's Eve what it is today," they said. "Our thoughts and best wishes are with his family and the ABC and Dick Clark Productions families."