79-year-old radio legend Don Imus has died.
Only two years ago, after almost a half-century of broadcasting on the radio, Imus retired from his job with Cumulus Media.
CBS News reports- Imus is survived by his wife of 25 years, Deirdre; sons Wyatt Imus and Lieutenant Zachary Don Cates, who will be returning from military service overseas; and daughters Nadine, Ashley, Elizabeth, and Toni.
WFAN host Mike Francesa, a longtime friend, called Imus “one of the true giants in the history of radio.”
Shocking news on the passing of my friend, Don Imus. He will long be remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio. My thoughts and prayers to Deirdre and Wyatt. God speed.
— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) December 27, 2019
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Imus spent more than 50 years on the air. Time magazine once named the cantankerous host as one of the 25 Most Influential People in America, and he is a member of the National Broadcaster Hall of Fame.
PJ Media – Don Imus created controversy, he skewered politicians thought to be above satire, and he made America laugh. As my friend told me upon hearing the news, Johnny Carson tucked America into bed every night for decades, and Don Imus got just as many folks to work in the morning. The cause of death was not disclosed.
John Donald Imus Jr. was an acquired taste. Often miscategorized as a “shock jock” along the lines of Howard Stern, Imus possessed a wicked and acerbic wit. Imus created a media empire that helped engage and educate regular listeners on politics while finding new and creative ways to satirize politicians, actors, and public figures. He was acerbic, irreverent, and completely unconcerned about the effects his words had. Far from alienating people, however, these public figures knew that appearing on the “Imus in the Morning” show offered a unique opportunity to communicate to America in a way that humanized them and gave them a voice outside of their typical role.
In 2014, the New York Daily News wrote, about Don and his wife Deidre’s ranch for kids with cancer.
The WABC radio and Fox Business News morning personality said this summer he couldn’t return to the ranch, which he and his wife Deirdre opened in 1998, because the altitude makes it impossible for him to breathe there.
The ranch is just outside Ribera, which is more than 6,000 feet above sea level. It’s a working cattle ranch and the Imuses have hosted free nine-day visits for children who have cancer or had lost siblings to SIDS every summer since it opened,
The guests work at the ranch and the mission, Imus has always said, was to “treat them like every other kid and show they can do what every other kid can do.”
That often included, he said, being as cranky with them as he is with the rest of the world.
More than 2,000 children came to the ranch over the years. Imus spent most of his own summers on the premises, working with the guests while doing his radio/TV show from a studio on the premises.
The ranch sits on about 2,400 acres, 45 miles east of Santa Fe. Soon after its construction, which was partly financed through donations solicited by Imus, it was featured in Architectural Digest.
Imus funded its expenses through a variety of sources, including corporate donations and his annual radiothon. He has also sold ranch-branded food products.
After breaking his ribs in a 2014 accident while riding a horse on the ranch, Imus ended the kids’ summer program. According to the New York Post, the rib-breaking fall from a horse made it difficult for him to breathe at the ranch’s 7,000-foot altitude.