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Birth name Kémal Amin KasemNationality USABirth 27 april 1932
at Detroit (USA
)Death 15 june 2014
(at 82 years) at Los Angeles (USA
Kemal Amen "Casey" Kasem (April 27, 1932 – June 15, 2014) was an American disc jockey, music historian, radio celebrity, voice actor, and actor, known for being the host of several music radio countdown programs, most notably American Top 40, from 1970 until his retirement in 2009, and for providing the voice of "Shaggy" Rogers in the Scooby-Doo franchise from 1969 to 1997, and again from 2002 until 2009.
Kasem co-founded the American Top 40 franchise in 1970, hosting it from its inception to 1988, and again from 1998 to 2004. Between January 1989 and early 1998, he was the host of Casey's Top 40, Casey's Hot 20, and Casey's Countdown. From 1998 to 2009, Kasem also hosted two adult contemporary spin-offs of American Top 40: American Top 20 and American Top 10.
In addition to his radio shows, Kasem provided the voice of many commercials, performed many voices for Sesame Street, provided the character voice of Peter Cottontail in the Rankin/Bass production of Here Comes Peter Cottontail, was "the voice of NBC", and helped out with the annual Jerry Lewis telethon. He provided the cartoon voices of Robin in Super Friends, Mark on Battle of the Planets, and a number of characters for the Transformers cartoon series of the 1980s. In 2008, he was the voice of Out of Sight Retro Night which aired on WGN America, but was replaced by rival Rick Dees. After 40 years, Kasem retired from his role of voicing Shaggy in 2009, although he did voice Shaggy's father in the 2010 TV series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
Kasem was a devout vegan, supported animal rights and environmental causes, and was a critic of factory farming. He quit the Scooby-Doo show in 1995 when asked to voice Shaggy in a Burger King commercial, returning in 2002 after negotiating to have Shaggy become a vegetarian.
Kasem was active in politics for years, supporting Lebanese-American and Arab-American causes, an interest which was triggered by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He wrote a brochure published by the Arab American Institute entitled "Arab-Americans: Making a Difference". He turned down a position in season three of Transformers because of the show's plot portraying "evil Arabs". He also called for a fairer depiction of heroes and villains, on behalf of all cultures, in Disney's 1994 sequel to Aladdin called The Return of Jafar. In 1996, he was honored as "Man of the Year" by the American Druze Society. Kasem campaigned against the Gulf War, advocating non-military means of pressuring Saddam Hussein into withdrawing from Kuwait, was an advocate of Palestinian independence and arranged conflict resolution workshops for Arab Americans and Jewish Americans.
A political liberal, he narrated a campaign ad for George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, hosted fundraisers for Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988, supported Ralph Nader for U.S. President in 2000, and supported progressive Democrat Dennis Kucinich in his 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns. Kasem supported a number of other progressive causes, including affordable housing and the rights of the homeless.
Kasem was married to Linda Myers from 1972 to 1979; they had three children: Mike, Julie, and Kerri Kasem.
Kasem was married to actress Jean Thompson from 1980 until his death. They had one child, Liberty Jean Kasem.