Don Imus Biography
Don Imus, the provocateur of the transmission that was a basic element of the radio’s driving time in the morning for decades, died Friday at College Station, Texas, after being hospitalized on Christmas Eve. He was 79 years old.
Imus retired from his nationally syndicated radio show “Imus in the Morning” in March 2018. He told CBS News at the time that he suffered from emphysema.
Imus was known to fans as the “I-Man,” who was proud to say what he thought about politics, pop culture, and other hot topics.
Don Imus Quick Facts You Need to Know
Don Imus Family, Married, Wife, Children
Imus married twice. Around 1965, he married his first wife, Harriet Showalter, who had two daughters from a previous marriage, Nadine and Toni. The couple had two of their own, Ashley and Elizabeth. They divorced in 1979. Imus married Deirdre Coleman on December 17, 1994 and remained together until Imus died in 2019. His son Frederick Wyatt was born in 1998. Imus adopted his sixth son, Zach, in the 2010s. .
At the time of his death, Imus resided in Brenham, Texas, on a ranch he acquired in 2013. He moved there full-time in 2015, after finishing his simultaneous Fox Business television broadcast in New York and from there he began to broadcast your program only on radio with the cast members broadcasting from the WABC radio studios. His former oceanfront mansion in Westport, Connecticut, was sold that same year for $ 14.4 million.
Don Imus Early life, Parents, Education
Imus was born in Riverside, California, to a wealthy family, son of John Donald Imus, Sr. and Frances E. Imus (née Moore), who ran a 35,000-acre ranch called The Willows near Kingman, Arizona. He had Welsh, English and Polish ancestry and Jewish roots. He had a younger brother, Fred Imus (1942–2011). Imus did not like school, he moved “from one horrible private school to another” and described himself as a “horrible teenager.” At fifteen, his parents divorced and his father died when he was twenty.
In 1957, while living in Prescott, Arizona, Imus dropped out of high school and joined the United States Marine Corps at Base Camp Pendleton, where he was stationed in the artillery division before transferring to the body of drums and bugles. He left the Marines with an honorable discharge and got a job as a window dresser in San Bernardino before he was fired for teasing dummies for passersby. Imus then moved to Hollywood with his brother in an attempt to find success as musicians and composers, but they struggled to get radio DJs to play their songs on air. This left Imus homeless, resorting to sleeping in a laundry and hitchhiking back to Arizona. After leaving Pacific University, Imus worked as a brakeman on the South Pacific railroad and an uranium mine in Arizona. He suffered a mining accident that broke both his legs and collapsed a lung.
Don Imus Honors
Imus won four Marconi Awards, three for the Greatest Personality of the Year of the Market (1990, 1992 and 1997) and one for the Syndicated Personality of the Network (1994).
Imus was named one of the 25 most influential people in the magazine America in Time (April 21, 1997).
He was included in the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.
In 2002, Talkers magazine ranked Imus as one of the top 25 radio show presenters of all time.
It was placed on the cover of Time magazine in 2007.
In 1999, Imus and Deirdre founded Imus Ranch, a 4,000-acre (16 km2) cattle ranch near Ribera, New Mexico, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Santa Fe, for children with cancer and siblings of victims of SMSL. Until its closure in 2014, the Imus family offered their time at Imus Ranch between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year. Imus continued his broadcasts from a studio there, while the rest of his cast aired from New York.
In his broadcast on September 9, 2014, he announced that the New Mexico ranch would be sold, due to his belief that the ranch had “run its course,” as well as “health and other problems” (specifically noted that his breathing had been damaged by a rib injury, which makes breathing difficult at high altitude in New Mexico). Proceeds from the sale of the property would go to a 501 (c) (3) charitable foundation that will donate to children’s causes of cancer. In October 2014, the ranch was offered for sale with an initial price of $ 32 million. The ranch did not sell after repeated efforts to do so, which led Imus to put the property up for auction in May 2017. Imus earmarked all proceeds from the sale of the ranch to the foundation. The ranch was sold to broadcaster Patrick Gottsch in April 2018, for $ 12.5 million.
Don Imus Death and Cause of Death
During his early years broadcasting in New York City, Imus fought against alcoholism. In 1983, Michael Lynne, then his lawyer, persuaded him to attend Alcoholics Anonymous. Imus attended meetings and stopped drinking in public, but continued privately. On July 17, 1987, after a nine-day vodka binge, he attended rehabilitation at a Hanley-Hazelden treatment center in West Palm Beach, Florida, for six weeks and remained sober. By 1991, Imus had adopted a vegetarian diet.
In 2000, Imus suffered serious injuries after a fall from a horse on his ranch and broadcast several programs from a hospital. The injuries resulted in chronic respiratory problems, especially at higher altitudes, of which he spoke in his program.
In March 2009, Imus was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer.
Imus was hospitalized at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, on December 24, 2019. He died three days later, on December 27, at the age of 79. The cause of his death was not immediately reported.