Legendary TV & Radio Star Casey Kasem Dies at Age 82 After Long Family Feud

TV and radio personality Casey Kasem died this morning at age 82. The legend, who suffered from Lewy body dementia, spent the last few years of his life at the center of a court battle between his second wife, Jean Kasem, and his three children over who should be able to make decisions about his health. Things got really ugly, but according to the statement issued today, the icon was at least able to die in peace.

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Mike, Kerri, and Julie Kasem announced their dad's death with the following statement:

Early this Father's Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends. Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken. Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers. The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our dad. With love, Kerri, Mike and Julie.

No mention of stepmom Jean, but that isn't at all surprising given the recent level of crazy that went on in this family.

Kasem had been kept alive by a feeding tube and everyone knew he didn't have long to live. But Jean -- who married Kasem in 1980 -- butted heads with his kids because they felt the best thing to do for their dad was to pull his feeding tube, while she had no interest in doing so.

More from The Stir: Casey Kasem's Daughter Forced to Make Gut Wrenching Choice After Court Ruling

Why Jean thought it might be a wise idea to reportedly kidnap her husband from a medical facility in Los Angeles a few weeks ago and take him to a friend's house in Washington, no one will ever know. Maybe she was just beyond desperate. But that move certainly didn't help her repair her relationship with her stepkids.

Last month, a judge determined to uphold Casem and his doctors' decision that keeping him alive via feeding tube was not in his best interest. His children were on board with the choice to move him to "comfort-oriented care."

It's tragic to think Kasem might be remembered for all of this drama because he led such an impressive life. As the host of American Top 40, he brought countless people joy by introducing them to great music. He provided character voices for kids' shows like Sesame Street and Scooby-Doo. And he was a huge part of the effort to raise money for the annual Jerry Lewis telethon.

May Casem's family -- ALL members of his family -- find peace during this difficult time.

How will you remember Casey Kasem?

 

Image via Lee Celano/Reuters/Corbis

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