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Dick Clark Passes Away

DICK CLARK, 82, the "world’s oldest teenager" as host of American Bandstand and his annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve telecast, has passed away of a heart attack. Clark had entered St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica last night for an outpatient procedure and attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. From 1952 to 1987, Mr. Clark hosted various incarnations of Bandstand, first over the radio in Philadelphia and later on national television. The show gave a prominent role to teenagers—who were always shown clean-cut in jackets, ties and sweaters—to vote on their favorite song. By the show’s 30th anniversary, almost 600,000 teenagers and 10,000 performers had appeared on the program, including Buddy Holly, James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, and Simon and Garfunkel. Dance crazes such as the Twist and the Watusi could be traced to the Bandstand studio. “Dick Clark was significant in transforming the record business into an international industry,” read the citation in 1993 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “His weekly televised record hops—which predated MTV by 25 years—played an integral role in establishing rock and roll, keeping it alive and shaping its future.” His self-titled production company was a force behind a slew of made-for-TV movies, beauty pageants, game shows and awards shows, including the American Music Awards and the Daytime Emmy and Golden Globe awards ceremonies. The private equity fund of Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder acquired Dick Clark Productions in 2007 for $175 million. Clark is survived by his wife Kari and his three children, RAC, Duane and Cindy. (4/18p)

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