Carl Kassell was a beloved American radio personality from the moment his voice was first broadcast over radio waves. Unfortunately, Carl passed away on Tuesday, April 17, after a years long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Born on April 2, 1934, Carl always loved drama, and it was clear that was his passion. One of his first mentors was his high school drama instructor, Andy Griffith. At first, Andy tried to sway Carl into purusing a career in theatre, but Carl always knew his truest love was the radio.
From the time he was a young child, he would dream of hearing his voice broadcasted among the waves. In fact, he used to hide behind radios and fool people into believing that they were truly listening to him on the air when he was a small child.
His radio career began when he was just a young teenager, and by the time he was 16-years-old, he was already broadcasting his voice on air. He worked as a DJ for a late night Music show on his local station.
After high school, Carl went on to attend the University of North Carolina where with the help of a fellow student, Charles Kuralt, he established the WUNC radio station. He remained there until graduation, when he left to join the military.
The role he was best known for was his work on National Public Radio (NPR) where he served as a newscaster and the official judge and scorekeeper on their quiz show, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”
When he retired from his final show of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” on May 15, 2014, celebrities called in to wish him well including Stephen Colbert and Tom Hanks.
During his illustrious radio career, he was able to earn himself a spot in the National Radio Hall Of Fame, the 1999 George Foster Peabody Award, the 2013 North Carolinian of the Year, and even an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters of the University of Southern Maine.
Please keep Carl’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they face this horrible loss.
This is a horrible story, and we know that sometimes we need a reminder of the good in the world at a time like this, so be sure to check out the video below!