Yesterday marked the end of an era as TV and radio legend, Dick Clark, passed away at age 82 after suffering a massive heart attack. While most collegiettes know Dick Clark as the host of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, his influence on media and pop culture was much more than just a single television appearance every December 31st. Her Campus has uncovered 10 interesting facts about Dick Clark proving that the legend recognized the importance of pursuing a career that you love and enjoying life to the fullest.
1. Dick Clark’s career began in 1945 in the mailroom of WRUN, an AM radio station run by his uncle and managed by his father, in Utica, New York. He eventually worked his way up to weatherman and then news anchor.
2. Fame found Dick Clark in 1956 when he took over the popular show American Bandstand. The show not only introduced America to rock ‘n’ roll, but was one of the first national television programs where blacks and whites performed on the same stage and the live audience seating was desegregated. Dick Clark provided exposure for many musical greats including Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel, and Tina Turner.
3. In 1974, after ABC lost their broadcast rights to the Grammy Awards, Dick Clark created the American Music Awards.
4. Clark was a huge fan of the television show The Flintstones. He purchased a 3.5 million dollar estate in Malibu, California that was “bedrock” inspired.
5. In between working as a television host, radio personnel, and founder of Dick Clark Productions, Clark made time to make some TV cameo appearances. One of the most surprising was his two-episode stint on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
6. Clark was a huge fan of all things musical, famously claiming that, “Music is the soundtrack of your life.” His favorite musical genre? Disco.
7. While attending Syracuse University, Clark was a member of Delta Kappa epsilon. Other Delta Kappa Epsilon members include George H.W. Bush, Theodore Roosevelt, and Rutherford B. Hayes.
8. Even though Dick Clark and his wife rang in the New Year on national television from 1972 to 2012, neither one of them ever celebrated with a drink.
9. Dick Clark was nicknamed “the world’s oldest living teenager” due to his boyish appearance and ever-youthful personality.
10. His signature sign off: a military salute accompanied by the his catchphrase, “For now, Dick Clark . . . so long.”