Radio legend Don Imus has died. He was 79. Imus died today at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in College Station, Texas. He was brought to the hospital on Christmas Eve. No cause of death has been given so far.
He certainly was controversial and he did that “shock jock” thing better than most. Like most radio guys, there are a lot of different pit stops on the road to that perfect job which for him was WNBC in New York that three-hour “Imus in the Morning Show.” MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough said “Morning Joe obviously owes its format to Don Imus, no one else could have gotten away with that kind of talk on cable news. Thanks for everything Don.” Morning Joe filled in for Imus after he was fired in 2007. That’s when he sparked an outcry over his remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
Through the years he was famous for ruffling feathers, whether it was ordering 1,200 hamburgers from McDonald’s with impossible toppings or mocking political figures, well he used mock lots of people. Political analysts Jeff Greenfield once said, “he’s out there talking the way most of us talk where we’re not in public.”
He was born John Donnell Imus on July 23rd, 1940 in Riverside, California. Imus was raised in Prescott, Arizona on a large ranch. He left the high school to join the Marines and on returning home he did a lot of different jobs like a window dresser but got fired after he stripped the mannequins in the front window. He was also a uranium miner and a railroad brakeman where he injured his neck, got a large cash settlement and decided to do a well a sit-down job. He went to a Hollywood broadcasting school and got his first job at KUTY in Palmdale, California. It was during that eight-month time that he really tried to work on his comical skills. Then, he moved to KJOY in Stockton, California where he got riskier on the air and got himself fired. His next station was KXOA in Sacramento, California, where they did appreciate his humor but his most famous show was “Imus in the morning at WNBC, which show debuted in New York in 1971. More recently, he was at Citadel Media and Fox Business Network.
Through the years he lived that life of excess that life of a rock and roll star which, of course, some DJs and rockstars do. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago. In 1998, he and his wife Deirdre introduced The Imus Ranch which made for a great summer place for kids suffering from cancer. He was famous for his philanthropic deeds throughout the years.
The family of Don will hold a small event with closed ones and told the people to make donations to the foundation if they want to. From his first marriage with Harriet Showalter, he had two daughters named Ashley and Elizabeth. Nadine and Toni who were daughters of Showalter from her first marriage lived with Imus. From his second marriage with Deirdre Coleman, he had a son named Wyatt.