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, has died at a charity golf event near New Orleans, a publicist said. 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.
Fans left flowers and condolences written on signs left outside his Dallas-area studio.
The website of Kraddick’s flagship station KHKS, known as KISS-FM, featured his photo Sunday and remembrances of his career. Fans left online comments such as “morning drive to work in the Dallas traffic will not be the same without your voice.”
“I don’t know why his death is affecting me like this. I never met Kidd in person, but I have ‘known’ him for 15 years or more. He has brought a smile to my face every morning,” Tasha Gillespie Sigler wrote Sunday on the Kidd’s Kids Facebook page.
“It amazes me how someone you don’t even know can become a part of your family,” Holly J Smith wrote. She also wrote that “prayers abound for his family, his work family, and for my fellow Kidd Kraddick listening family.”
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.