Radio and television artist, Dick Clark was born on 30 November 1929 in Bronxville, New York to Julia and Richard Augustus Clark. He has only one brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II. He was an average student at A.B Davis high school. Clark realized at the age of ten that his real talent was in show business. Therefore, he attended Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. He graduated in 1951, achieving a degree in advertising and a minor in radio.
Clark started working in the mailroom of WRUN, a radio station in New York run by his father and uncle, at the age of sixteen. It was not long before the teenager was at the post of weatherman and then radio announcer. He was also the DJ at WFIL in Philadelphia. Due to his young appearance, he is often known as “America’s oldest teenager”. He is famous for hosting America’s longest running television show “New American Bandstand 1965” which ran for about thirty years. He had started doing the show as a substitute host. The original host of the show was Bob Horn, who was arrested for drunk driving, and thus Clark became the permanent host. “New American Bandstand 1965” was a music show where teenagers’ favorite hit songs were played. Singing sensations like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis also appeared. He also hosted the game show “Pyramid” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”. Clark was also a successful businessman. He was chairman and chief executive officer of “Dick Clark productions” and produced shows such as “Where the Action is”, “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes” and “So You Think You can Dance”. He also made movies such as “Elvis”, “Birth of the Beatles”, “The Savage Seven” and “Wild Streets.”
In 1973, he created “Annual American Music Awards” which resemble the “Grammy Awards”. Clark has achieved a respectable number of awards including four Emmy awards, Daytime Emmy lifetime Achievement Award and the Peabody award. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976, Radio Hall of Fame in 1990, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Dick Clark died on 18 April 2012 due to a heart attack.
Barack Obama complimented Clark’s career by saying:
“With the New American Bandstand in 1965, he introduced decades’ worth of viewers to the music of our times. He reshaped the television landscape forever as a creative and innovative producer. And, of course, for 40 years, we welcomed him into our homes to ring in the New Year”.