Longtime radio personality Don Imus died at the age of 79, according to reports on Friday.
Imus, who hosted “Imus in the Morning” for decades, died Friday morning in College Station, Texas, inside the Baylor Scott and White Medical Center, The Hollywood Reporter quoted a spokesperson as saying.
He was hospitalized on Christmas Eve, a representative told the news outlet. The cause of death is not clear.
“Don loved and adored Deirdre, who unconditionally loved him back, loved spending his time watching Wyatt become a highly skilled, champion rodeo rider and calf roper, and loved and supported Zachary, who first met the Imus family at age 10 when he participated in the Imus Ranch program for kids with cancer, having battled and overcome leukemia, eventually becoming a member of the Imus family and Don and Deirdre’s second son,” Imus’s family stated to the news outlet.
Imus is survived by his wife, Deirdre, as well as two sons Wyatt and Lt. Zachary Don Cates and daughters Nadine, Ashley, Elizabeth, and Toni.
Morning Joe obviously owes its format to Don Imus. No one else could have gotten away with that much talk on cable news. Thanks for everything, Don, and Godspeed.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) December 27, 2019
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) December 27, 2019
On Twitter, Imus announced in early 2018 that March 29 of that year would “be the last ‘Imus in the Morning Program.’ Turn out the lights…the party’s over.”
Imus is best known for wearing a cowboy hat and making controversial and sometimes offensive statements.
I was Don Imus’ assistant news editor for 3 months back in 2005. I also worked many mornings after his show. Three times I saw him pull his gun out in the studio. He also gave me a great Christmas bonus during my time with him. Imus was one of a kind. RIP.
— Ray Martel (@Marteljr) December 27, 2019
“Shocking news on the passing of my friend, Don Imus. He will long be remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio. My thoughts and prayers to Deirdre and Wyatt. God speed,” wrote WFAN radio host Mike Francesa on Twitter.
Shocking news on the passing of my friend, Don Imus. He will long be remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio. My thoughts and prayers to Deirdre and Wyatt. God speed.
— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) December 27, 2019
A number of other people mourned his death on social media.