After years of battling with Parkinson’s disease and dementia, iconic radio host Casey Kasem died early Sunday morning in Los Angeles at the age of 82.
Kasem hosted the “America’s Top 40” radio countdown program for nearly 40 years and voiced the character “Shaggy” in the popular “Scooby-Doo” cartoons of the 1960s and 70s.
The jockey’s smooth voice and optimistic outlook helped defined a generation of radio, but Kasem’s story took a darker turn late in his life. A bitter legal battle between his three adult children and his second wife developed over the ailing host’s medical care, with his children alleging his wife was isolating him from friends and family.
Kasem even disappeared for a time, with his children desperately searching for days until they discovered his wife had moved him to a friend’s home in Washington state. A judge temporarily stripped his wife of her caretaker role following the incident.
ABC News reports that Kasem developed a severe bedsore while in Washington and was listed in critical condition when he was returned to Los Angeles earlier this month. If that complication played a role in his death, it’s likely the legal feud between Kasem’s children and wife will continue.