“Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” Casey Kasem, well known for coining the phrase as the iconic host of ‘American Top 40’ has passed away. Kasem was 82.

Kasem lost his battle with Lewy body disease, a form of dementia early this morning. CNN reports that his daughter Kerri Kasem made the announcement on her Facebook page.

A judge ordered that fluids, nourishment, and medication could be withdrawn last week at his daughter Kerri Kasem’s request. His three children from his first marriage haven been in a heated, and very public battle with his wife Jean, and their half sister Liberty Kasem since news of his illness became public last year. His older children said that they had hoped to set their differences aside during their father’s last days.

When Kasem stepped down as host of ‘AT 40’ in 2004, ABC news honored him in a ‘Person of the Week’ segment. Fortunately, I have a friend who regularly archives great TV moments like this, and that video is below. It’s a unique, personal look at a man whose voice and talent have touched millions of us throughout his career.

I had the honor of meeting Casey in 1984 when the Michigan native visited Central Michigan University for a Muscular Dystrophy fundraiser. The words “kind and down-to-earth” only begin to describe him. He was as genuine in person as he was on the radio.

Rest in peace, Casey.

- George McIntyre
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