Kemal Amin Casey Kasem was born on April 27, 1932, and died on June 15, 2014. He was a disc jockey, actor, and radio personality from the United States who created and hosted different radio countdown shows, including American Top 40. He was the first actor to play Norville Shaggy Rogers in the Scooby-Doo franchise in 1969. But did you know how Kasem influenced his character, Shaggy, to be a vegetarian?
Casey Kasem, who played Shaggy was a vegan and an outspoken opponent of factory farming. When he was invited to voice Shaggy for a Burger King ad in 1995, he left the show. He would not return until 2002 and producers agreed to make Shaggy a vegetarian.
Casey Kasem’s Personal Life
Kasem was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Lebanese Druze immigrants Helen and Amin Kasem, who worked as grocers. They named him after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, whom Kasem’s father dearly admired. Kasem’s parents forbade him from speaking Arabic and insisted on his assimilation into American culture.
Make Believe Ballroom allegedly inspired Kasem to pursue a career in radio in the 1940s. Kasem’s first radio experience was at Northwestern High School in Detroit, where he covered sports. He attended Wayne State University, where he voiced children on radio shows like The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1952. Army and was dispatched to Korea. He was a DJ/announcer on the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network.
Kerri Kasem revealed in October 2013 that her father had Parkinson’s disease, which was diagnosed in 2007. However, a few months later, she revealed he had Lewy body dementia, which is difficult to distinguish from Parkinson’s. During his last months, he could not speak because of his condition. He died on June 15, 2014, at the age of 82, at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. Sepsis caused by an ulcerated bedsore was reported as the immediate cause of death. (Source: ABC News)
Casey Kasem’s Career and Accomplishments
Kasem began his professional broadcasting career in Flint, Michigan, before moving to Detroit’s WJLB and WJBK, where he portrayed children’s television host Krogo the Clown.
Kasem was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1992 for his radio work, and three years later, into the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame as well. Kasem also received the Presidential Award for Sustained Executive Achievement from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers in 2001. (Source: ABC News)
How Much was Casey Kasem’s Estate Worth?
Casey Kasem’s estate was estimated to be worth between $80 million and $100 million in 2014, as he died of a Parkinson’s-like disease. Jean Kasem claimed that her husband’s children, Kerri, Julie, and Michael, were only interested in his money and that her husband eventually cut them off financially.
Kasem and his wife listed the house for US$43 million in 2013. After Kasem family members settled the lawsuit, the property was re-listed in 2021 for US$37.9 million. (Source: Washington Watch)