Carl Kasell, Longtime Voice of 'Morning Edition' on NPR, Dies at 84

This 2010 image released by NPR shows newscaster Carl Kasell. Kasell a signature voice of NPR who brought his gravitas to

Newscaster, Voice Of 'Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me' Carl Kasell Dies At 84

Don't Tell Me!, died Tuesday.

Kasell, a signature voice of NPR who brought his gravitas to "Morning Edition" died, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, of complications from Alzheimer's disease in Potomac, Md. Kasell joined NPR as a part-time employee in 1975 for "Weekend All Things Considered" and then announced the news on the first broadcast of "Morning Edition" in 1979 alongside host Bob Edwards. He reportedly dreamed of being a newscaster his whole life. At the time, Morning Edition was a brand new show. "I sometimes would hide behind the radio and pretend I was on the air", he said in 2009, remembering his boyhood in Goldsboro.

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He began his radio career at age 16, DJing a late-night music show on his local station and then working at his college station at the University of North Carolina. He was urged by Griffith to pursue theater but Kasell fell in love with radio.

After a stint in the U.S. Army, Kasell worked as a disc jockey and newscaster at radio stations in North Carolina and Virginia before landing at NPR.

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"Every weekday for more than three decades, his baritone steadied our mornings", wrote NPR's Neda Ulaby.

Kasell was the judge and scorekeeper for the humorous news quiz show "Wait Wait..."

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"I kind of left the records behind", Kasell said. "When we were in Las Vegas, we had him come onstage in a showgirl's headdress". KASELL was the original judge for "WAIT WAIT" from its debut in 1998 through 2014, and his voice on winners' answering machines (later voicemail) was the prize given to winning contestants on the show. Kasell remained in that job until his retirement in May 2014, with Bill Kurtis taking on his duties.

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