NPR Newscaster Carl Kasell Dies At 84

Carl Kasell and KUNC's Erin O'Toole during a visit to the station in 2009

View Slideshow Carl Kasell and KUNC's Erin O'Toole during a visit to the station in 2009. KUNC

Don't Tell Me! in an attempt to win the grand prize, which, for years, was Carl Kasell recording the voicemail on your phone.

NPR said Kasell died Tuesday from complications from Alzheimer's disease in Potomac, Maryland.

Kasell began his career at NPR as a part-time employee on "All Things Considered" in the mid-1970s, then became the news announcer for the first broadcast of "Morning Edition" in 1979. NPR wrote Kasell started preparing for the role of newscaster as a child.

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Kasell was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

"Before I even started to school", he told NPR in 2009, "I sometimes would hide behind the radio, which would be sitting on a table, and pretend that I was on the air, and try to fool people that came by to listen". He was urged by Griffith to pursue theater but Kasell fell in love with radio. He was also one of the very first students who helped launch the WUNC station at the university. At the time, Morning Edition was a brand new show. "Don't Tell Me!" from its inception in 1998 until he retired in 2014.

CBS and NPR created a TV pilot for the Wait Wait in 2008, which Kasell and then-host Peter Sagal were in, but it was not picked up to series. "No matter what we asked him to do - silly voices, or weird stunts; we had him jump out of a cake once to make his entrance onstage - he did it (with) such joy and dignity". Kasell switched his focus from spinning records as a DJ to public radio after his friend encouraged him to pursue a job opportunity at an all-news station, according to NPR. He stepped down after the MAY 17, 2014 show, replaced by BILL KURTIS.

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