Carl Kasell, NPR newscast anchor for over 30 years, died Tuesday from complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Potomac, Maryland. He was 84.
Kasell was known for his unflappable authority to the news, even during moments of chaos and crisis. He also brought a lively sense of humor to “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me,” the NPR’s news quiz show.
Kasell’s love for radio began as a young boy. “I sometimes would hide behind the radio and pretend I was on air,” he once said, remembering back to his childhood.
He would also lay with his grandmother’s wind-up Victrola and records. “I would sit there sometimes and play those records, and I’d put in commercials between them,” he recalled. “And I would do a newscast just like the guy on the radio did.”
His first radio job was DJ-ing at a local radio station at age 16.
In 1975, Kasell joined NPR, and four years later, he was announcing the news on the first broadcast of a new show called “Morning Edition.” For over 30 years, Kasell was one of the most recognized voices on the radio.
Carl Kasell was born on April 2, 1934, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina and helped launch WUNC, their local radio station.
After he graduated, he served in the military and upon his return home, he went into the radio business.
He is survived by his second wife, Mary Ann. Kasell’s first wife, Clara, died in 1997.