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By Shawn Tempesta

Before Ryan Seacrest or Carson Daly, there was Dick Clark. “America’s Teenager” had a career that spanned over 60 years, and sadly he passed away today at the age of 82.

Dick studied at Syracuse University and soon after worked in the mailroom of his uncle’s radio station in Utica, New York. Soon, Dick was providing weather and news reports for the small market station. He moved to Philadelphia in 1952 as a radio and television announcer, and soon found himself as the fill-in host of the local “Bandstand” show. Soon, the existing host was fired, and Dick was slid in. Only a year later, the show was syndicated to millions of Americans.

His career spanned far beyond “American Bandstand”. In 1973, he created the “American Music Awards”, still just as relevant today. He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1975 – which would turn out to be less than half way through his career. Then, there were the game shows like “The $10,000 Pyramid”. He produced several television shows. He beat Danny Bonaduce in a push-up contest (at age 74 mind you) while they were co-hosts of “The View” spinoff “The Other Half”.

And then there was New Years Rockin’ Eve! New Years Eve at Times Square was never as big of a party as it became after Dick started counting down the seconds. The show revolutionized coverage of New Years Eve festivities which have been emulated on nearly every network since.

Unfortunately, a stroke in 2004 sidelined Dick Clark’s New Years hosting duties for the first time in 30 years. The following year, Dick re-appeared in a smaller role, passing the torch to today’s “Dick Clark”, Ryan Seacrest. His speech was slurred, and he had trouble keeping up with the countdown, but he got through it. And year after year, his speech improved and his countdown became more perfected. He was definitely the perfectionist.

“For now, Dick Clark… So Long”.


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