By: Andrea Ryan
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Dick Clark, the endearing TV icon who entertained generations of Americans since his debut on American Bandstand in 1956, died today at the age of 82. Young people today will know Clark for being our official host ringing in every New Year.
According to Fox News,
Dick Clark, the creator of “American Bandstand” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” died Wednesday morning.
He was 82.
Clark suffered a massive heart attack after entering St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica on Tuesday night for an outpatient procedure, his family said in a statement.
Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
Clark had suffered a stroke in 2004, which forced him to significantly curtail his hosting of “New Years’ Rockin’ Eve,” a show he created in 1972.
Long dubbed “the world’s oldest teenager” because of his boyish appearance, Clark bridged the rebellious new music scene and traditional show business, and was equally comfortable whether chatting about music with Sam Cooke or bantering with Ed McMahon about TV bloopers.
He thrived as the founder of Dick Clark Productions, supplying movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. Among his credits are “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes” and the American Music Awards.
But it was “American Bandstand” for which Clark was best known. The show was one of network TV’s longest-running series, airing as part of ABC’s daytime lineup from 1957 to 1987. Over the years, it introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna.
Clark joined “Bandstand” in 1956 after Bob Horn, who’d been the host since its 1952 debut, was fired. Under Clark’s guidance, it went from a local Philadelphia show to a national phenomenon.
“I played records, the kids danced, and America watched,” was how Clark once described the series’ simplicity. In his 1958 hit “Sweet Little Sixteen,” Chuck Berry sang that “they’ll be rocking on Bandstand, Philadelphia, P-A.” …
Clark began his career in the mailroom of a Utica, N.Y., radio station in 1945. By age 26, he was a broadcasting veteran, with nine years’ experience on radio and TV stations in Syracuse and Utica, N.Y., and Philadelphia. He held a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. While in Philadelphia, Clark befriended McMahon, who later credited Clark for introducing him to his future “Tonight Show” boss, Johnny Carson.
“There’s hardly any segment of the population that doesn’t see what I do,” Clark told The Associated Press in a 1985 interview. “It can be embarrassing. People come up to me and say, `I love your show,’ and I have no idea which one they’re talking about.”