July 29, 2013 8:14:39 AM
Radio and TV personality David "Kidd" Kraddick, the high-octane host of the "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning" show heard on dozens of U.S. radio stations in national syndication, has died at a charity golf event near New Orleans, a publicist said. Kraddick was 53.
The Texas-based radio host 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 statement on behalf of YEA Networks.
"He died doing what he loved," said Biro, of the public relations firm Champion Management, speaking by telephone with AP early Sunday. He said he had no further details on the death.
The "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning" show is syndicated by YEA Networks and heard on more than 75 Top 40 and Hot AC radio stations and is a leader among most-listened-to contemporary morning programs, Biro noted. He added the program is also transmitted globally on American Forces Radio Network. 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."
The statement said the cause of death would be released "at the appropriate time." Many fans of the show posted condolences and messages of mourning on a Facebook page devoted to the show. One Texas radio station ran photographs on its website of Kraddick.
"Oh Man, I just heard Kidd Kraddick died! He's my childhood DJ. What a sad day. His poor family. He was always nice 2 me from the beginning," tweeted singer Kelly Clarkson.
Richie Tomblin, the head golf professional at the Timberlane Country Club Saturday, described Kraddick as looking ill when he showed up.
"He came out and he borrowed my golf clubs and went out to the driving range," Tomblin told AP when contacted by phone. "It's kind of a freaky situation. He came out. He practiced a little bit. He hit the ball at the first tee and wasn't feeling good and after that I didn't see him."
Tomblin said the event with hundreds of amateur golfers taking part went on without Kraddick present. He added he only found out afterward about the death and was still shaken and trying to come to grips with it.
"I'm still trying to figure it out. I really don't know what happened. Everyone keeps texting me asking, 'What's going on? I really don't know," said Tomblin, adding he was even reluctant to touch the set of clubs Kraddick had borrowed earlier in the day.