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Syndicated radio host Kidd Kraddick dies

 

David 'Kidd' Kraddick

AnneClaire Stapleton

CNN

(CNN) -- David "Kidd" Kraddick, whose morning radio show aired in nearly 100 cities, has died. He was 53.

He died Saturday in New Orleans at a golf tournament to raise money for his Kidd's Kids Charity, his management company said.

What killed Kraddick was not immediately known.

"At the appropriate time, we will release more information about the cause of death," said Ladd Biro with Champion Management.

"He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him."

Kraddick is the face behind the nationally successful "Kidd Kraddick In The Morning" show.

He has been named America's Best Radio Personality'; Radio and Records Major Market Personality of the Year; and he won the prestigious Marconi Award for Radio Personality of the Year.

Kruddick said his career as a disc jockey began in high school.

"We sponsored a big dance for the seniors but didn't have enough money to hire a DJ. So I snuck out my dad's stereo and did it myself," he said.

The name "Kidd" wouldn't come for several years though.

He began his career in Miami. And as is common with radio personalities, he bounced around.

Stints in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Tampa followed.

It was in Tampa that a program director gave him the name "Kidd." It stuck.

His career really took off after he moved to Dallas when his morning drive time show went into syndication.

Last week, Kraddick did a humorous segment on what he'd say to his co-hosts in his "final moments on Earth."

"When I die, you have permission to take a bunch of creepy pictures of my body," Kraddick said. "I want to thank all of you guys for being at my deathbed today. I'm going to miss you so much."

Saturday's golf tournament was for his non-profit Kidd's Kids Charity, which raises money annually to send children with chronic and terminal illnesses -- and their families -- to spend five days at Walt Disney World.

"RIP Kidd Kraddick. You were an amazing man and a friend. You are already missed," tweeted entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

CNN.com readers also shared their memories.

"Such a great guy. I've listened to the show for years," commented Johnny MacNary. "He was always raising money for Kidd's Kids and giving things away. He really had a heart of gold. Mornings in Texas will never be the same. My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues tonight. He really made the world a better place."

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