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Famed Radio DJ Dan Ingram Dead at 83 After Choking on a Piece of Steak

People logo People 6/26/2018 Dave Quinn
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(Video provided by CBS Dallas)

Dan Ingram, the famed New York DJ who was a pioneer of AM top 40 radio, died on Sunday in his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 83.

Ingram had numerous neurological problems over the last few years due to a diagnosis of Parkinsonian syndrome in 2014, The New York Times reported.

But according to his son, Christopher, his death was unrelated to his disease. Instead, Ingram died choking on a piece of steak, Christopher told The Times.

a man looking at the camera: Dan Ingram © Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic Dan Ingram He added to Allan Sniffen, founder of MusicRadio77, that his father “did not suffer.

Radio stars like Don Imus and Dan Taylor mourned the loss on Twitter.

A Long Island native, Ingram began his career working at smaller stations across the country before he began his legendary tenure at WABC-AM in 1961. There, he earned a name for himself for his quick wit and irreverent introductions.

a man looking at the camera © James Devaney/WireImage Ingram remained at WABC-AM through 1982, becoming one of its signature personalities in its heyday and ushering in some of rock and roll’s biggest names — including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys.

When WABC-AM switched over to talk radio, Ingram moved over to the other side of the radio dial, for a stint at WKTU-FM New York in 1984. He also did various commercial voiceover work.

But Ingram wouldn’t find the same level of prominence as he did at WABC-AM until he joined WCBS-FM New York in 1991. The groundbreaking oldies station would remain Ingram’s home until his retirement in 2003.

Don Imus wearing a suit and tie: Don Imus (right) presenting Dan Ingram with the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award © Al Pereira/WireImage Don Imus (right) presenting Dan Ingram with the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award

Ingram was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.

He combined humor, an irreverent style, and impeccable timing and established himself as the leading rock radio personality in North America,” the National Radio Hall of Fame said in a statement, Inside Radio reported. “Ingram was the master of the ‘talk-up,’ speaking over the introduction and finishing his thoughts at the exact moment the lyrics started.”

Christopher wrote a novel about his father in 2014, called Hey Kemosabe!

He is one of the many members of Ingram’s surviving family, including wife, Maureen Donnelly, four other sons (Daniel, David, Robert and Phillip), four daughters (Patricia, Michelle, Christina,and Jacqueline), two stepdaughters (Laura and Linda), 26 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, The Times reports.

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