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Radio host Don Imus dies at College Station hospital

The radio shock jock's last radio broadcast was March 29, 2018.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this May 29, 2015, file photo, cable television and radio personality Don Imus appears on his last "Imus in the Morning" program, on the Fox Business Network, in New York. The sprawling cattle ranch in northern New Mexico owned by Imus is for sale, The Santa Fe New Mexico reports. The 2,400-acre ranch near the small community of Ribera, N.M., about 45 miles east of Santa Fe, has been used to benefit children afflicted by cancer. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Controversial radio host Don Imus has died at the age of 79 at Baylor Scott and White hospital in College Station.

In a family statement released to NBC news, the death was confirmed Friday. Imus was considered a pioneer of his genre and was well-known for his "Imus in the Morning" show on MSNBC for nearly 50 years.

Imus was born in Riverside, California and was raised in Kingman, Arizona, according to a biography released by his family. He started in radio in New York in 1971 and was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.

In 2007, "Imus in the Morning" was dropped by MSNBC and fired from CBS radio after the controversial host described the mostly African-American Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." He returned to radio about eight months later on New York's WABC AM.

In 2009, he announced he had prostate cancer and retired from radio in 2018. A cause of death has not yet been announced. People have been sending Imus' family their condolences on social media outlets.

Imus and his wife, Deirdre, bought a ranch in New Mexico in 1999 and it served as the site for a charity that benefited children with cancer and siblings of SIDS victims. The ranch was a place where children who were sick could work the land and with animals to regain their self-confidence. Imus sold the ranch after 16 years due to his failing health, he told his listeners on his show.

Imus leaves behind a wife and six children. We will keep you updated on further developments of this story.