Shortly after the new broke that Don Imus, the host of the long-running radio show “Imus in the Morning,” had died on Friday morning at the age of 79, media figures and celebrities took to social media to share their condolences.
“Shocking news on the passing of my friend, Don Imus. He will long be remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio. My thoughts and prayers to Deirdre and Wyatt. God speed,” wrote Mike Francesca on Twitter.
“Morning Joe obviously owes its format to Don Imus,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who replaced Imus at the network, which simulcasted his program, wrote on Twitter. “No one else could have gotten away with that much talk on cable news. Thanks for everything, Don, and Godspeed.”
“In his heyday Imus was the best interviewer–an epic talent,” wrote Laura Ingraham. “Many great on-air memories in his Astoria studios, and (sorry, haters) responsible for my 17-year radio career.”
While Imus was described by the New York Times’ David Carr as “one of the most popular radio hosts in the country” in 2007, he garnered swift and public backlash that year for making racist and sexist remarks about players for Rutgers women’s basketball team, whom he had called “rough girls” and “nappy-headed hos.” At the time, Imus had apologized for his “thoughtless and stupid” comments but was ultimately fired from CBS. However, many celebrities and members of the media haven’t forgotten.
“Don Imus is dead, this nappy headed hoe forgets your comments and wishes you a sweet transition,” wrote “Real Housewives” cast member Katie Rost.
“Don Imus, a veteran radio broadcaster and racist who lost his job in 2007, has died. He was 79,” wrote comedian DL Hughley.
But even before then, Imus’ brash and confrontational style often included insults and jokes made at the expense of underrepresented groups. Still, Imus’ popularity led him to be named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People in America in 1997. The shock jock was also inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.
See the reactions below.
Shocking news on the passing of my friend, Don Imus. He will long be remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio. My thoughts and prayers to Deirdre and Wyatt. God speed.
— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) December 27, 2019
Morning Joe obviously owes its format to Don Imus. No one else could have gotten away with that much talk on cable news. Thanks for everything, Don, and Godspeed.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) December 27, 2019
In his heyday Imus was the best interviewer—an epic talent. Many great on-air memories in his Astoria studios, and (sorry, haters) responsible for my 17-year radio career. “Don Imus, Legendary 'Imus in the Morning' Host, Dies at 79 https://t.co/H0YPhRrxtp
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 27, 2019
— Katie Rost (@KatieRost) December 27, 2019
— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) December 27, 2019
Rest in peace Don Imus, iconic radio talk show host, funny, brilliant observer of American life, generous to so many, children with cancer; ever grateful for his contributions to Spina Bifida: my thoughts are with Deirdre and his family
— Judy Woodruff (@JudyWoodruff) December 27, 2019
From the medium he mastered to the racist views he clearly held, Don Imus was an institution and, to be honest about it, a legendary radio figure who was clearly not meant for modern times.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 27, 2019
Don Imus, radio legend, has passed away. A true pioneer. He was a great mentor and going from being his biggest fan as a teenager to being his regular fill in years later, was a great honor. We all learned a lot of things from him. RIP. #imus pic.twitter.com/lOfZHOeE4m
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) December 27, 2019
Sad to hear of the passing of Don Imus. While he stepped over the line later in his career, the I-Man pioneered the fusion of politics, culture, satire and raunch in ways that changed radio and morning cable. He got pols and pundits to play and make news they didn’t intend.
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) December 27, 2019
(1/2) I’m heartbroken. I knew the REAL Don Imus. Imus adored his wife and son and his adopted son and had a heart of gold. The work he did for children with cancer will live on forever. Every email he ever sent me made me laugh… https://t.co/3xSOaDmwXQ
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 27, 2019
(2/2) …Always Smart, witty, irreverent, and iconoclastic. God speed Don Imus as you move to the great rodeo in the sky. https://t.co/3xSOaDmwXQ
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 27, 2019
Don Imus was a pioneer. After growing up listening to him on WNBC in NYC, it was surreal & amusing to join him as a guest on TV & radio. He was one-of-a-kind. Condolences to his family. https://t.co/ZUzLm2ixTL
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) December 28, 2019
RIP dear friend Don #imus a great talent, who scorched the airwaves w smart, irreverent funny entertaining envelope-pushing comedic commentary. Proud to say he was my 1st announcer on my first national show #GoodNightAmerica. Regrets to Deirdre & deep thx for all you did together
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) December 27, 2019
Read original story Don Imus Remembered by Mike Francesca, Joe Scarborough and More: ‘One of the True Giants in the History of Radio’ At TheWrap