19    Apr 20122 comments

Dick Clark: An American icon passes

Dick Clark 1961

Dick Clark in 1961 (Source: Wikipedia)

Dick (Richard Wagstaff) Clark, American radio and television personality died yesterday.

Born November 30, 1929, in Bronxville, New York, he died of a massive heart attack in Santa Monica, California, on April 18, 2012.

Best known as the host of the long-running teen music show - American Bandstand - watched religiously every afternoon by millions of US teens when they came home from school. The show is credited by many as the forerunner of reality TV shows like "American Idol." Later, he also created "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" and even a game show - "Pyramid."

The release of the 1940 US Census (available on MyHeritage) earlier this month provides an inside view into the lives of those who lived at the time. Clark was 10 years old when the enumerator came to call.

Dick Clark in the 1940 US Census - Line 36 (Click to zoom)

He lived with his parents and brother Bradley at 230 Park Avenue, Mount Vernon, Westchester County, New York. Their house was worth $115 (average on this street). His father, Richard, was the managing director of a cosmetics manufacturer. Bradley died during WWII, which likely caused Dick's long-standing depression.

Following his recovery, he went on to host "American Bandstand," from 1957-1987.

How will you best remember Dick’s work? Do you remember watching "American Bandstand"? Share your comments below.

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Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. As a teen in the 60's the only way we could see our idol Black Musicians was to watch American BandStand. Dick Clark was an innovator,Civil Rights Activist, and genius. He made a lot of Black kids realize their dreams at a time when our country was in denial about the worth of "All" of its citizens.
  2. He connected talent to first-quality entertainment. He practically created the pop scene as it now works. So it was more fun than 'elevated'? Tough, prudes and snobs; you have your refined entertainment which you can enjoy at will. American needed the fun and got it from him.

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