Richard Wagstaff "Dick" Clark (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012) was a widely recognized American radio and television personality, best known for hosting television's longest-running variety show, American Bandstand, from 1957 to 1987.
He also hosted the game show Pyramid, and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.
As host of American Bandstand, with his unparalleled communication skills, he is credited with being a "primary force in legitimizing rock 'n roll," not just to teenagers, but also to parents. The show gave countless new music artists their first exposure to national audiences, among whom were Ike and Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Talking Heads and Simon and Garfunkel. His shows were among the first where blacks and whites performed on the same stage and the live audience seating was desegregated. Singer Paul Anka claims that his show was responsible for creating "youth culture," and due to his youthful appearance, Clark was often referred to as "America's oldest teenager."
As a successful businessperson, businessman. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of Dick Clark Productions, which he sold part of late in his life. He also founded the restaurant chain, "American Bandstand Diner," modeled after the Hard Rock Cafe.
Clark suffered a significant stroke in late 2004. With speech ability still impaired, Clark returned to his New Year's Rockin' Eve show on December 31, 2005/January 1, 2006. Subsequently, he appeared at the Emmy Awards on August 27, 2006, and every New Year's Rockin' Eve show through the 2011/2012 show. Clark died on April 18, 2012 at the age of 82 after suffering a heart attack following a medical procedure.