Iconic NPR newscaster and voice Carl Kasell dead at 84

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Carl Kasell, an iconic morning newscaster and voice on NPR, died Tuesday following complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84.

He served for 30 years as NPR’s newscaster on “Morning Edition,” until 2009. Kasell was also the official judge and scorekeeper of the popular hourlong weekly news quiz radio show “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”

Peter Sagal, the host of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” called Kasell “the heart and soul of the show.”

“I am extremely sad to tell you all that my dear friend and colleague for 16 years, Carl Kasell has passed away at the age of 84, from complications of Alzheimer’s. He was, and remains, the heart and soul of our show,” he wrote in a tweet that generated more than 27,000 likes.

“I’ll have more to say about Carl on @NPR and of course on this week’s episode of @waitwait. Right now, even though we knew this was coming, I’m finding it difficult to compose my thoughts,” Sagal added. {mosads}

Kasell’s career begun more than 50 years ago after getting his start as a morning DJ and newscaster at WGBR-AM in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He moved to WAVA in Arlington, Virginia to serve as its morning anchor.

Kasell first joined NPR as a part-time employee in 1975 for “Weekend All Things Considered.”

“I look out the window in the morning sometimes, and the sun is rising, and the people are going to work,” Kasell said in an interview with NPR on his retirement four years ago. “I look at Washington as being that big, sleeping giant, just stretching and waking up, and going about its business. And to know that I’m working in the capital of the most powerful nation in the world — I feel good about that.”

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