Tom Magliozzi, the iconic host of "Car Talk" for nearly 35 years, died Monday at the age of 77, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease, NPR announced.
Magliozzi and his brother, Ray, better known as "Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers," were the Peabody Award-winning hosts of the long-running auto advice radio talk show. The famed duo became the comedic voices behind the show in 1977, with its inception as a local program on Boston's WBUR, and together led it to become NPR's top rated entertainment broadcast. In 2012, the pair announced that they were calling it quits after 25 years with the network.
"We can be happy that he lived the life he wanted to live; goofing off a lot, talking to you guys every week, and primarily, laughing his ass off," his brother Ray said in a statement.
"Car Talk" executive producer Doug Berman sent the following memo on Monday:
I have the sad duty to report today that Tom Magliozzi, one of the hosts of 'Car Talk,' passed away this morning due to complications of Alzheimer's Disease.
Tom's been such a dominant, positive personality amongst us for so long that all of us in the public radio family -- and I include our millions of listeners -- will find this news very difficult to receive.
“He and his brother changed public broadcasting forever,” Berman continued. “Before Car Talk, NPR was formal, polite, cautious….even stiff. By being entirely themselves, without pretense, Tom and Ray single-handedly changed that, and showed that real people are far more interesting than canned radio announcers. And every interesting show that has come after them owes them a debt of gratitude."
Journalists and colleagues expressed their sadness on Twitter: