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Dick Clark, The Iconic Host of American Bandstand

Here is a overview of Dick Clark‘s career:

Full Name Richard Wagstaff Clark
Birthday November 30, 1929
Birthplace Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.
Death Date April 18, 2012
Height 5′ 9′′
Net Worth $200 million
Twitter @DickClark
Instagram @officialdickclark

Dick Clark was an American television legend best known for hosting the iconic musical variety show American Bandstand for over 30 years. As host, Clark introduced teenage viewers across America to the latest rock n‘ roll, pop, and R&B hits while also interviewing the biggest music stars of the time.

Early Life and Radio Career

Richard Wagstaff Clark was born on November 30, 1929 in Mount Vernon, New York. His family soon moved to near Utica, New York where Clark graduated from high school. He started his career in radio while studying at Syracuse University. Clark landed his first radio DJ job at WRUN in Rome, New York in 1951. This led to a prominent DJ position in 1952 at the WFIL station in Philadelphia. It was at WFIL that Dick Clark would get his big break into television.

American Bandstand and Rise to National Prominence

In 1952, Clark was selected to replace Bob Horn as host of a local Philadelphia television program called Bandstand. Clark took over as full-time host in 1956 and the show was renamed American Bandstand. It became a national sensation and provided the first chance for many teenagers across America to see the latest dances like The Stroll and The Twist and music acts like Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and The Beach Boys on television. Clark conducted interviews with major artists and also pushed for racial integration of the show. American Bandstand continued its national broadcast run until 1989 with Clark hosting until 1987.

Founding Dick Clark Productions

On the heels of his success, Clark founded his own production company called Dick Clark Productions in 1957. His company went on to produce numerous popular game shows and awards programs that Clark himself often hosted. Major shows launched under Dick Clark Productions included:

  • The $25,000 Pyramid
  • TV‘s Bloopers & Practical Jokes
  • American Music Awards
  • New Year‘s Rockin‘ Eve

Clark became a familiar face on TV screens for decades through his roles as host and producer.

Later Career and Death

Clark continued working in entertainment into the 2000s, despite suffering a significant stroke in 2004 that impaired his speech and mobility. He returned to hosting Dick Clark‘s New Year‘s Rockin‘ Eve that year and made annual appearances continuing the Times Square tradition he started in 1972. Clark died from a heart attack on April 18, 2012 at age 82. He leaves a legacy as one of the most influential figures in American pop culture.


With American Bandstand, Dick Clark both shaped and reflected the musical tastes of multiple generations of American teenagers. He set the standard for hosting New Year‘s Eve celebrations on television, becoming a comforting part of the holiday for millions. Clark was a master of reinvention, remaining a relevant on-air personality across six decades of enormous change in the entertainment world. His affable interview style, youthful energy, and eye for new talent charmed generations of viewers. Few people have had as broad or long-lasting an impact on American pop culture as Dick Clark.