Broadcasting legend Dick Clark, who made rock 'acceptable,' dies
April 18, 2012By Peter Crimmins
Broadcasting legend Dick Clark, 82, died of a heart attack Wednesday.
Dick Clark was just a teenager when he started his career in broadcasting. Seventy years later, he was still known as the world's oldest teenager.
Born in Mount Vernon, New York, he started working in radio as a high school student. He bounced around various stations until he graduated from Syracuse University and came to Philadelphia.
That's where his career took off. At age 23, he was tapped to host a local Philadelphia dance program called "Bob Horn's Bandstand" on WFIL. The show would later go national as "American Bandstand."
"Before he came along, people looked at our music as raucous, race, not good, boisterous," said oldies DJ Jerry Blavat, aka The Geator. "Dick Clark, as an all-American, good-looking kid that has a bandstand show with kids dancing, nicely dressed, dancing to rock and roll -- it became acceptable."
Clark had a long career as a producer and host, founding Dick Clark Productions in 1957. He had a stroke in 2004 which damaged his face and speech. Nevertheless, Clark continued to drop the ball at midnight on New Year's Eve in Times Square, as recently as this year.