NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — If it was New Year’s Eve, then it was Times Square, and it was Dick Clark.
The television host with the smooth voice and forever-young face, who died Wednesday at age 82, marked the end of one year and the beginning of another with Americans for decades.
Photo Gallery: Remembering Dick Clark
“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” got its start in the 1970s.
It has continued on the air for years, with Clark as emcee. He missed one year after suffering a stroke in December 2004, but returned the following year, earning praise for his perseverance and fortitude.
“For 40 years, Dick Clark has been an iconic part of New Year’s Eve in Times Square whose charm and singular presence as a television host have helped make New Year’s Eve what it is today,” co-producers of Times Square New Year’s Eve of Times Square Alliance & Countdown Entertainment said in a statement. “We will remember Dick each time we welcome in the New Year in Times Square.”
WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports
In recent years, the main hosting duties were taken over by Ryan Seacrest, with Clark making appearances.
“Times Square is considered the crossroads of the world in no small part because Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve celebrations there were beamed across the globe,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “Generations of Americans grew up with Dick, and yet he seemed forever young. His spirit will always live on in Times Square, and in the hearts of millions of New Yorkers.”
President Barack Obama also noted the nostalgia.
“More important than his groundbreaking achievements was the way he made us feel — as young and vibrant and optimistic as he was,” Obama said in a statement.
Dick Clark also had a long relationship with CBS. His “Pyramid” game show premiered on the network in 1973.
“He was one of the greatest guys of all time,” Moonves said. “He was incredibly was charming. He had a great sense of humor. He was the ultimate showman. It was just great being around him.”
Officials are encouraging fans to leave flowers under the Ball at the Times Square visitor center.
Clark is survived by his wife, Kari, and children RAC, Duane and Cindy.
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