07/28/2013 AT 8:00 AM ET
David “Kidd” Kraddick, the high-octane radio and TV host of the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show heard on dozens of U.S. radio stations, died at a charity golf event near New Orleans, a publicist said late Saturday. Kraddick was 53.
The Texas-based radio and television personality, whose program is syndicated by YEA Networks, died at his Kidd’s Kids charity function in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna on Saturday, said publicist Ladd Biro in releasing a network statement.
“He died doing what he loved,” said Biro, of the public relations firm Champion Management, speaking with AP by phone early Sunday. He said he had no further details on the death.
The Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show is heard on more than 75 Top 40 and Hot AC radio stations and is a leader among most-listened-to contemporary morning programs, Biro said. The radio program also is transmitted globally on American Forces Radio Network while the show’s cast is also seen weeknights on the nationally syndicated TV show Dish Nation, he added.
“All of us with YEA Networks and the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning crew are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and leader,” the network 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.”
“He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him,” it added.
The Dallas Morning News reported Kraddick had been a staple in the Dallas market since 1984, starting in a late-night debut. The newspaper said he moved into morning show work by the early 1990s in that market and his show began to gain wider acclaim and entered into syndication by 2001 as he gained a following in cities nationwide.
Kraddick would have turned 54 on Aug. 22, according to Biro.
The network statement said the cause of death would be released “at the appropriate time.”
Many fans, celebrities included, tweeted condolences and talked about the death on social media sites. One Texas radio station where he was a mainstay ran photographs on its website of Kraddick at the microphone.
Word of Kraddick’s passing spread quickly via social media:
Oh man, I just heard Kidd Kraddick died! He’s my childhood dj. What a sad day. His poor family. He was always nice 2 me from the beginning.
Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) July 28, 2013
The sad sad news about Kidd Kraddick is shocking. He will be missed greatly.
joe jonas (@joejonas) July 28, 2013
Broken hearted, my dear friend @kiddKraddick has tragically died.Great father,great man.Just together,so happy, excited abt his engagement.
Dr. Phil (@DrPhil) July 28, 2013
RIP Kidd Kraddick. You were an amazing man and a friend. You are already missed.
Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 28, 2013