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Don Imus, longtime radio personality, dead at 79

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 18:06:14-05

Don Imus, an iconic radio host who spent nearly 50 years on the airwaves, died on Friday at the age of 79, the Hollywood Reporter reported .

Imus died at a hospital in College Station, Texas, on Friday, three days after being hospitalized, the Hollywood Reporter reported. The cause of his death is unknown.

"Don loved and adored Deirdre, who unconditionally loved him back, loved spending his time watching Wyatt become a highly skilled, champion rodeo rider and calf roper, and loved and supported Zachary, who first met the Imus family at age 10 when he participated in the Imus Ranch program for kids with cancer, having battled and overcome leukemia, eventually becoming a member of the Imus family and Don and Deirdre’s second son," Imus' family said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

Imus touched on a wide range of topics on the air during his tenure in talk radio. His shows could range from discussions on music, sports and politics. He was known for interviewing top athletes as well as major politicians.

For most of Imus' career, he could be heard on New York City airwaves under the moniker "Imus in the Morning." His shows were at various times simulcast to national audiences, including on MSNBC and Fox Business Network.

Imus was named to the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1996. He also won four NAB Marconi Radio Awards.

As few topics were off limits for Imus, Imus sometimes found himself in the midst of controversy.

One notable example of controversy was in 2007 when he referred to the members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed 'hos." This comment caused Imus to be dismissed by both MSNBC and CBS Radio.

But Imus found his way back on the air before finally stepping down last year from WABC.

Imus was also known for his philanthropy. His family operated the Imus Ranch, which gave children with illnesses an opportunity to interact with other children and to build up their self esteem while spending time on a ranch.