Dick Clark Had Upstate Ny Roots

04.19.12 | Jeremy Miller

Dick Clark

Entertainment icon Dick Clark passed away yesterday at the age of 82. A statement from his family confirms that Clark succumbed to a massive heart attack and efforts to resuscitate him were not successful. The producer, host and entertainer, who influenced generations of young people, cemented his roots and started his career in upstate New York. He was born Richard Wagstaff Clark in Mount Vernon, New York, on November 30th 1929. Clark began his broadcasting career behind the scenes in the mailroom of a Utica radio station in 1945. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1951 and landed a gig at WOLF Radio in Syracuse, making a buck an hour. He then went to WRUN Radio in Utica/Rome before moving on to television. He worked for a year as a news reporter for WKTV in Utica before moving to Philadelphia where, after a few fill-in stints, he became the full time host of a show called "Bob Horn's Bandstand." It was later renamed "American Bandstand." The teenage dance party show became a national sensation after it was picked up by ABC and maintained unrivaled ratings for 40 years until it's final season in 1989. Clark is survived by his wife, Kari, and their three children, Rac, Duane and Cindy.