TV Host Dick Clark Died at 82

Dick Clark dies from massive heart attack

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Dick Clark, a legendary television producer famous for hosting "American Bandstand" and "New Year's Rockin' Eve," died today of a massive heart attack. He was 82.

Bloomberg News reported that his agent Paul Shefrin said Clark had arrived at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, last night for an outpatient procedure.

He suffered a widely-reported stroke in 2004, which impaired his speech and made walking difficult, though he still made appearances on the New Year's show, most recently in 2011.

Prior to his stroke his consistently youthful appearance earned him the nickname, "America's Oldest Living Teenager." He later decided to trademark it.

Clark worked in television and radio before he began hosting rock-n-roll "American Bandstand," then known as "Bob Horn's Bandstand," in 1952. The show, which he hosted for 30 years, helped popularize rock-n-roll music to the middle class. 

Clark insisted on a strict dress code of skirts for girls and ties and jackets for boys, projecting a clean cut image that the middle class was more willing to accept. Clark's push for white and black couples to dance side by side on the dance floor also proved to be one of the first televised images of ethnic diversity.

By the 1960s he was hosting top 40 music countdowns, acting as host for shows that included "The Dick Clark Radio Show."

During the 1970s Clark hosted popular game show "The $10,000 Pyramid," a word association game, that he returned to as a guest when the show was revamped and returned to the air in the 1980s as "The $25,000 Pyramid," then the "$100,000 Pyramid."

Through Dick Clarke Productions Inc. he also moved behind the scenes to create a plethora of awards shows including “The Golden Globes,” “The American Music Awards” and “The Academy of Country Music Awards.”

Clark married Barbara Mallery in 1952 and had a son, Richard, before the marriage ended in divorce in 1962. He had two children with his second wife, Loretta Martin, named Duane and Cindy. Following a divorce, he married his third wife, Kari Wigton in 1977.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 18, 2012
Last Updated:
April 18, 2012