The sudden death this weekend of nationally syndicated radio talk show host David “Kidd” Kraddick after falling ill at a charity golf tournament he was hosting in a suburb of New Orleans, has caused a social media explosion of sorrow and condolences.
Kraddick, 53, was a pioneer in self-syndication and one of CHR’s most successful morning hosts. His Dallas-based Yea network syndicated radio show show airs on more than 75 stations across the country. Kraddick, was raising money for his Kidd’s Kids foundation.
New Orleans media outlets reported that Kraddick had been taken to a New Orleans hospital, where he died Saturday afternoon. The network statement said the cause of death would be released “at the appropriate time.”
Richie Tomblin, head golf pro at the Timberlane Country Club in Gretna, where Kraddick was raising money for his Kidd’s Kids foundation, said Kraddick wasn’t looking well when he saw him getting ready for Saturday’s charity tournament. “He came out and he borrowed my golf clubs and went out to the driving range,” Tomblin said. “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.”
“He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him,” a statement on Kraddick’s Kidd Nation website said. The statement said Kraddick “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.”
By Sunday afternoon, the statement posted on the Kidd Kraddick Facebook page had drawn more than 60,000 “likes” and more than 15,000 comments.
“He’s my childhood DJ — he was always nice to me from the beginning,” Kelly Clarkson tweeted.
Ryan Seacrest tweeted condolences: “So sad hearing about my radio brother Kid Kraddick. One of a kind and one of the best at what he did every morning. U will be missed Kidd”
Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis, who recently made nationally news with a one-woman fillibuster against a Texas abortion bill, tweeted that “my family and I are truly heartbroken over the unexpected loss of the legendary radio host Kidd Kraddick.”
Harry Styles of the Twitter-fave band One Direction tweeted that he was “Absolutely devastated to hear about the sad passing of Kidd Kraddick. He was always so nice and will be incredibly missed. Lovely man. RIP.” Not surprisingly, the tweet was “favorited” more than 45,000 times.
One fan outside a makeshift memorial at Kidd Kraddick’s Las Colinas studio said, “He just always made me smile, no matter what he was doing.”
The show’s cast is seen weeknights on nationally syndicated TV show Dish Nation. Ironically Kraddick did a segment on his show last week on what he’d say if he knew he was on his deathbed.
“When I die, you have permission to take a bunch of creepy pictures of my body,” he said. “I want to thank all of you guys for being at my deathbed today. I’m going to miss you so much.”