Dick Clark built an empire that spanned through music and television, starting with the show that bridged both mediums, American Bandstand. The show was one of the longest-running TV programs ever, running from 1957 to 1987, which served as a launching pad for many music stars such as Buddy Holly and Madonna. In 1974, he created the American Music Awards for ABC, after the network lost the rights to The Grammy Awards.
His Dick Clark Productions company also launched a slew of successful game shows in the 1970s and 1980s like TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes and The $10,000 Pyramid. He was also a mainstay on New Year's Eve, hosting Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, until suffering a stroke in 2004. Ryan Seacrest took over as the primary host after the stroke.
Dick Clark was born Richard Wagstaff Clark on November 30, 1929 in Mount Vernon, New York. He began his career in a Utica, New York radio station mail room in 1945, and graduated with a broadcasting degree from Syracuse University. He is survived by two sons, Richard Augustus II and Duane, and a daughter, Cindy.