July 30, 2014

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American icon, Dick Clark, 82, gone but not forgotten Print E-mail

Broadcast icon Dick Clark, the longtime host of the influential "American Bandstand," has died, publicist Paul Shefrin said. He was 82.

Clark suffered a heart attack while at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica for an outpatient procedure, his publicist said Wednesday. "Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful."

The family has not yet decided whether there will be a public memorial service for the multifaceted Clark, although Shefrin said, "There will be no funeral."

Clark suffered what was then described as "a mild stroke" in December 2004, just months after announcing he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

That stroke forced Clark to cut back on his on-camera work, including giving up the hosting duties for the "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" specials. He returned as a co-host with Ryan Seacrest on December 31, 2005.

Clark anguished each year over whether to continue appearing on the annual show because of limitations on his speech from the stroke, U.S. Rep. David Dreier, a longtime friend, told CNN Wednesday.

Clark's "American Bandstand" work, which he began when it was a local TV show in Philadelphia in 1956, earned him the nickname "America's oldest living teenager."

The dance show was picked up by ABC and broadcast nationally a year later.

The savvy entrepreneur was a pioneer in introducing African-American and other performers to millions of young TV viewers. His audiences were integrated, among the first on television.

Clark became wealthy as a businessman, producing successful TV shows through Dick Clark Productions. He created the American Music Awards in the 1970s, a competitor to the Grammy Awards.

He sold the company to Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder in 2007.

Born Richard Wagstaff Clark in Mount Vernon, New York, on November 30, 1929, he began his broadcast career working at a radio station managed by his father.

Clark, who was married three times, is survived by his wife, Kari, two sons and a daughter.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Clark in its non-performer category in 1993.

Clark also hosted numerous other television favorites, including the "Pyramid" game shows and "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes."