Don Imus death: Controversial radio personality dies at 79

Radio personality Don Imus
Radio personality Don Imus dies at 79. Pic credit:

Radio shock jock Don Imus passed away on Friday morning at the age of 79, according to his family. CNN reported that Imus had been admitted to Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, on Tuesday.

A cause of death was not revealed, but Imus’ death came after he announced in 2009 that he had been diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer.

Imus had struggled with multiple health issues over the years before he announced he had cancer. According to TMZ, he admitted to battling alcoholism and cocaine addiction and went to rehab in 1987. He also suffered a collapsed lung in 1992 and fell from a horse in 2000.

Imus’ death also came after he retired in 2018 following nearly 50 years on the radio.

People have been posting tributes, as well as scathing criticism, on social media since his family announced his passing.

Don Imus bio

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Don Imus (John Donald Imus Jr.) was a radio and TV personality, as well as a stand-up comedian. He was born in Riverside, California in July 1940, but grew up on his family’s ranch in Prescott, Arizona. He joined the U.S. Marines after dropping out of high school.

After he was discharged from the military, he had jobs as a window dresser, miner, and railroad brakeman.

According to Radio Insight, Imus started his radio career in 1968 when he joined KUTY, a radio station in Palmdale, California. He joined WNBC in New York City in 1971 where he hosted his own radio show.

He would become known for hosting the nationally syndicated radio show, Imus in the Morning.

Imus quickly gained notoriety as a radio shock jock who often pushed controversial and provocative views on various social and political issues. He drew a lot of flak for making comments that were widely condemned as misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist.

Despite the controversy surrounding him, his show was popular and public figures who called his talk radio show included President Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, and Dan Rather.

CBS fired him after he caused public outrage in April 2007 when he made comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team that were widely panned as racist and misogynistic. He called the women basketball players “jigaboos” and “nappy-headed hoes.”

Imus is survived by his wife Deirdre, two sons, Wyatt and Zachary Don Cates, and four daughters, Nadine, Ashley, Elizabeth, and Toni.

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