John Donald Imus Jr. (July 23, 1940 – December 27, 2019) was an American radio personality, television show host, recording artist, and author. He was known for his radio show Imus in the Morning which aired on various stations and digital platforms nationwide until 2018. He attended broadcasting school in the 1960s and in 1968 secured his first radio job at KUTY in Palmdale, California. Three years later, he landed the morning spot at WNBC in New York City; he was fired in 1977.
In 1979, Imus returned to WNBC and stayed at the station until 1988 when the show moved to WFAN. He gained widespread popularity when the show entered national syndication in 1993. He was labelled a “shock jock” radio host throughout his later career. He retired from broadcasting in March 2018, after nearly 50 years on the air, and died the following year.
Don Imus Health and death
During his early years broadcasting in New York City, Imus battled with alcoholism. In 1983, he was persuaded by Michael Lynne, then his lawyer, to attend Alcoholics Anonymous. Imus attended meetings and ceased to drink in public, but continued to in private. On July 17, 1987, after a nine-day vodka binge, he attended rehabilitation at a Hanley-Hazelden treatment center in West Palm Beach, Florida, for six weeks and remained sober. By 1991, Imus had adopted a vegetarian diet.
In 2000, Imus suffered serious injuries after a fall from a horse at his ranch and broadcast several shows from a hospital. The injuries resulted in chronic breathing problems, especially at higher altitudes, which he spoke about on his program.
In March 2009, Imus was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer. He was advised to have radiation treatments, but said he chose to treat the disease holistically.
Imus was hospitalized at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, on December 24, 2019. He died three days later, on December 27, at the age of 79. The cause of his death was not immediately reported.