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.
March 29th, 2018, will be the last 'Imus in the Morning Program.' Turn out the lights…the party's over.
— Imus (@WhereMyImusAt) January 22, 2018
People have been posting tributes, as well as scathing criticism, on social media since his family announced his passing.
Sad…a very, very talented guy and a good guy too. https://t.co/87VXQ08WM4
— Mike Barnicle (@mikebarnicle) December 27, 2019
In public he was an irascible growler "who led pranks and parodies that could be tasteless, obscene and sometimes racist, sexist or homophobic." In private he raised millions for wounded vets and kids with cancer. NYT's obit captures all of Imus https://t.co/PjMtcWsAsx
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 27, 2019
Don Imus was a racist, sexist clown, and it’s awful seeing notable white dudes in media go out of their way to say “yes but so important to radio” when I know your asses won’t give a shit when the next woman, person of color, or queer person dies who was important to radio.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 28, 2019
“Controversial” is an interesting way to say that Don Imus called the women’s Rutgers basketball teams “nappy headed hoes” and “jigaboos”.
Good riddance. https://t.co/O1VWeG43sW
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) December 27, 2019
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.”
Don Imus has died at the age of 79.
Here him and his cohost calling the young black women of a college basketball team “nappy headed hoes” and “jigaboos”
I’m sure there are people in his life who mourn his loss but I’m not one of them. pic.twitter.com/Vj7AYUJJMa
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) December 27, 2019
Imus is survived by his wife Deirdre, two sons, Wyatt and Zachary Don Cates, and four daughters, Nadine, Ashley, Elizabeth, and Toni.