U.S. NEWS

Don Imus, Racist Radio Show Host, Dead At 79

Imus was fired from CBS in 2007 after he referred to members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.”

Veteran radio broadcaster and known racist Don Imus died Friday. He was 79.

Imus died in the morning “after being hospitalized since Christmas Eve,” according to a family statement reported by multiple outlets. 

Imus was fired from CBS in 2007 after he referred to members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.”

Those racist, callous remarks weren’t a one-off. As Today pointed out the year Imus was fired:

Through the years, while he’d often teetered on the edge separating mere bad taste from reprehensible conduct, he had always managed to avoid falling into the abyss. He has called African-American Bill Rhoden, The New York Times sports columnist, a “quota hire,” while characterizing another African-American, Gwen Ifill of PBS’ “Washington Week,” as a “cleaning lady. “Congressman Joe Barton of Texas, who once offended Imus, was called “a lying fat little skunk from Texas,” Lesley Stahl a “gutless, lying weasel,” Rush Limbaugh a “fat, pill-popping loser,” and Arabs “ragheads.”

He also attacked Jews, per a 2006 New York Times blog:

Shortly before Christmas last year, syndicated radio star and MSNBC host Don Imus called the book publishers Simon & Schuster “thieving Jews” (Imus in the Morning, 12/15/04), returning to the subject later in the program to offer a mock apology, saying that the phrase he used was “redundant.”

… Imus [also] called Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz “that boner-nosed … beanie-wearing little Jew boy” (Newsday, 10/19/98).

Imus went on to host another radio show of his own, “Imus in the Morning.” His last show was on March 29 of last year before he retired.

His cause of death was not immediately known.