DALLAS – David “Kidd” Kraddick, the radio and TV personality whose Dallas-based “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning” was aired on stations across the nation, has died at age 53.
The cause of his death was not released.
“It has been confirmed that Kidd Kraddick passed away Saturday in New Orleans at a golf tournament organized to raise money for his beloved Kidd’s Kids charity,” Clear Channel Communications Inc. said in a news release. The statement was attributed to Kelly Kibler, Clear Channel’s Dallas manager, and was confirmed by a Kraddick’s publicist, Ladd Biro.
“He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him,” the statement said. “Kidd devoted his life to making people smile every morning, and for 21 years, his foundation has been dedicated to bringing joy to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children.”
New Orleans media reported that Kraddick was taken to a hospital in the city and died just after 1 p.m Saturday.
Kraddick was a staple in the Dallas radio market since his late-night debut in 1984 on KEGL-FM. But his ascension to mainstay status began in 1992, when he moved to KHKS-FM and began broadcasting his morning show. By 2001 the show was syndicated, and, according to his website, is heard in more than 100 cities.
The Marconi Award-winner’s brand expanded even further in recent months when his show was added to Dish Nation, a syndicated TV show.
Longtime radio personality Terry Dorsey, 64, said Kraddick had earned the respect of everyone he knew in the radio industry.
Although Dorsey and Kraddick’s paths seldom crossed — Dorsey is in country radio, Kraddick was a part of Top 40 radio — Dorsey said he recognized Kraddick was focused and knew what he wanted to do.
“It’s one shot in a million to get a syndication deal like he got,” Dorsey said. “And to make it as long in one market as he did is saying a lot about a person.”
Social media exploded with activity after news of the death broke. Kraddick’s Facebook page and a KHKS tribute page were drawing a constant stream of condolences, and Twitter was active as well.
“RIP Kidd Kraddick. You were an amazing man and a friend. You are already missed,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted.
“The sad sad news about Kidd Kraddick is shocking. He will be missed greatly,” wrote Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, who were announced Friday as the headline act of next month’s first-ever Kidd’s Kids charity concert in Dallas.
Jay Pond, a member of the board of directors of the Kraddick Foundation, said Kraddick’s death would be tough for the nonprofit organization.
“He’s the driving force,” Pond said. “He’s kind of a larger than life, very generous giving man. Year after year he did these phenomenal trips for these kids. It was spectacular.”