Controversial American radio host Don Imus died Friday December 27, 2019, according to a statement from his family. He was 79 years old. John Donald Imus Jr., was born on July 23, 1940, in Riverside, California; and was raised in Prescott, Arizona. His family owned a large ranch. Imus dropped out of high school, and joined the U.S. Marines. After basic training won a chair in the band.
“Don loved and adored Deirdre, who unconditionally loved him back, loved spending his time watching Wyatt become a highly skilled, champion rodeo rider and calf roper and loved and supported Zachary, who first met the Imus family at age 10 when he participated in the Imus Ranch program for kids with cancer, having battled and overcome leukemia, eventually becoming a member of the Imus family and Don and Deirdre’s second son/”
— Family statement
Imus was admitted to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, on December 24, 2019. He died three days later, on December 27, at the age of 79. In March 2009, Imus was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer, but initially the cause of his death was not released.
His show, “Imus in the Morning,” was on the air from June 1, 1968, until March 29, 2018. Imus worked for WABC radio from 2007-2018.
Imus became embroiled in a controversy in 2007 when he used derogatory terms classified as racial slurs describing the Rutgers University women’s basketball team in the NCAA women’s basketball championship. MSNBC also stopped their simulcast, then CBS fired Imus from his radio program and Imus was temporarily finished by April 2007.
The mature “shock jock” was also known for his charity work, which included helping sick and dying children at his ranch. In 1999, Imus and his wife Deirdre founded the 4,000-acre Imus Ranch — a working cattle ranch near Ribera, New Mexico, 50 miles southeast of Santa Fe. The Imus Ranch was dedicated for children with cancer, and siblings of SIDS victims. In 2008, Little Richard appeared as a guest artist on The Imus Ranch Record to help raise funds to benefit sick and dying children, as well as to attempt to debunk the notion that Imus was racist. The ranch was later put up for auction about May 2014, and the proceeds went to a charitable foundation that supported financial help for childrens’ cancer causes. Imus could no longer live at the high altitude because a rib injury affected his breathing.
Imus later signed on with Citadel-owned WABC in New York City in December 2017. Imus also signed a multi-year deal with Fox Business Network in September to simulcast his WABC radio show Imus in the Morning, but on April 28, 2015, Imus announced that his radio show would no longer be broadcast on the Fox Business Network starting May 29, 2015.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 27, 2019
BREAKING: Radio broadcaster Don Imus has died at age 79, his family says https://t.co/EiV0ShTSxG
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 27, 2019
— WFAN Sports Radio (@WFAN660) December 27, 2019
Veteran radio and TV broadcaster Don Imus, who was heard on Boston radio for many years, died Friday morning at the age of 79. A family statement said he had been in the hospital since Christmas Eve. pic.twitter.com/i7yPEfmTto
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) December 27, 2019
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