Obituaries

Dick Clark, American Bandstand Host, Dead at 82 From Heart Attack

New Year's Eve will be a little less rockin' without the smiling face of "America's oldest teenager," Dick Clark.



The beloved media mogul passed away today after suffering a heart attack at the age of 82, leaving behind a television legacy that will be hard to top.



Way before Ryan Seacrest, Clark stole the hearts of young dancers across the nation as the host of American Bandstand. From 1956 until 1989, Clark took over television sets and helped fuel pop sensations like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and The Big Bopper.





His boyish looks and made-for-TV charm helped Clark earn his teenager nickname and made him a superstar beyond the world of pop music. In 1972, he began to produce and host Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, helping to ring in the New Year in Times Square with the world's biggest stars.



In the 40 years since the program started, he only missed two celebrations: once as the decade flipped from '99 to 2000 because of special programming, and again at the end of 2004 while recovering from a stroke.



Clark is survived by three children and his third wife of 35 years, Keri Wigton.



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Kat Bein is a freelance writer and has been described as this publication’s "senior millennial correspondent." She has an impressive, if unhealthy, knowledge of all things pop culture.