David "Kidd" Kraddick's Sudden Death Due to Cardiac Cause

David "Kidd" Kraddick's Sudden Death Due to Cardiac Cause

An outpouring of grief and memories on Sunday followed the sudden death of David “Kidd” Kraddick, a nationally syndicated radio personality and “an energetic dynamo" with an incredibly generous spirit.

Kraddick, 53, hosted the locally based Kidd Kraddick in the Morning. The program is broadcast on Dallas’ “Kiss FM” KHKS-FM (106.1) and more than 75 stations nationally. It is also broadcast on the television show Dish Nation.

Kraddick died Saturday in New Orleans at a golf tournament for Kidd’s Kids, a nonprofit he started that sponsors trips to Disney World for chronically and terminally ill children.

Based on the results of a preliminary autopsy, Jefferson Parish Deputy Coroner Dr. Granville Morse says David "Kidd" Kraddick died of cardiac disease.

"His heart was enlarged," Morse told The Dallas Morning News Monday. "You have several vessels, and three were diseased -- the worst of which was 80 percent blocked. That combination, an enlarged heart and cardiac disease, when someone dies like this it's usually dysrhythmia," which leads to an irregular heartbeat.

Morse said it's likely Kraddick died quickly.
"What happens is your heart goes into a non-perfusable rhythm," Morse said. "In English that means: imagine you turned off the faucet for the blood to go back to the brain. It not only doesn't get to the brain, but it doesn't get to the heart. Both stop working simultaneously."

This was just the preliminary autopsy; nothing will be final until the toxicology report is finished. That could be done by week's end, Morse said.

"Until we get that back," he said, "we don't know for sure."

A golf professional at the charity event said that Kraddick did not feel well and took only a few swings before leaving the event.

Kiss FM owner Clear Channel Communications said in a statement Saturday that Kraddick died doing what he loved, working selflessly for children.

Kraddick’s fans reeled from his death Sunday. Some called in to the station or left notes and flowers outside the radio studio, where fans once again gathered Monday morning. Celebrities tweeted condolences. His Facebook page and Twitter drew a steady stream of listeners’ memories.

KLUV-FM (98.7) radio host Jody Dean said the outpouring reflected Kraddick’s ability to connect with a wide audience of teenagers, commuters and soccer moms alike. His talent made it hard for Dean and other broadcasters to compete, he said.

“What’s remarkable about Kidd is that he took that wall that’s always been there between broadcasters and audience and in his show, he completely wiped it out,” Dean said. “You didn’t feel like you were listening to a show. You felt like you were listening to a friend.”

Monday morning's show was  a brief one, starting an hour later than usual -- at 7 a.m.

"Our hearts are very heavy at the loss of Kidd Kraddick, and words are very difficult for us to come up with at this time," said an announcement made at 6 a.m. "But for just a little bit this morning, starting at 7 a.m. central, Kellie Rasberry, Big Al, Jay Si and Jenna will be here to express their thoughts and feelings. And most importantly, we're going to open up the phone lines and hear from you as well. 1-800-KIDD-LIVE. 1-800-K-I-D-D-L-I-V-E. We hope you join us starting at 7 a.m. central this morning to express the love we felt for Kidd Kraddick."

Once Kraddick's co-hosts shared their memories, it was announced they would take the rest of the week off to mourn his death. It's unclear when, or how, the show will return after that.

Family man

Longtime friend Dr. Phil McGraw, called Kraddick “an energetic dynamo” on the airwaves, but also described Kraddick as a generous philanthropist and devoted father to his grown daughter, Caroline.

Kraddick loved “cutting up” with McGraw and doing impressions of him on the radio, but off the air they exchanged advice about family, parenting and show business. Kraddick frequently showed off photos and gave updates about Caroline. “He just bust the buttons off his shirt talking about her,” McGraw said.

When she was a toddler, Kraddick recorded a standing comedy bit called “Bathtime with Caroline” and “people fell in love with her,” said Amy Austin, who worked as a radio host with Kraddick on Kiss from 1995 to 1998.

“He invited you into his family, and you invited him into yours,” Austin said.

Caroline Cradick declined to comment Sunday. She tweeted, “I will never wrap my brain around my fathers passing. Please keep me and my family in your prayers and ask The Lord to watch over my daddy.”

Kraddick, who was divorced in 2007, was planning to get married again. Two weeks ago, he showed McGraw the engagement ring. “I’ve never seen him happier,” McGraw said.

On Saturday, McGraw sent Kraddick a text message but did not receive a reply. It seemed unusual for Kraddick, who is usually wired to technology and multiple gadgets, McGraw said.

A reply eventually came from Kraddick’s fiancee, who said she needed to talk to McGraw.

Kraddick debuted as a deejay at his suburban Tampa, Fla., high school. In 10th grade when he was class president, there were limited funds for a school dance, so he borrowed his dad’s stereo and did the music himself.

He attended the University of Miami for a semester. He dropped out to go to broadcast school and got his first gig at a small radio station in Sarasota, Fla.

His next stop was Q105, a radio station in Tampa, where the program director began calling him “kid” — a nickname that stuck.

“My biggest asset was also my biggest detriment,” Kraddick told The Dallas Morning News in 1994. “I have a young, non-radio sounding voice. Teens really turned on to my voice and thought, ‘Hey, he’s 16.’”

He described his humorous and energetic style as “radio without a net.”

Kraddick worked on nighttime radio shows in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles before taking his show to Dallas in 1984.

He became a staple in the area with his late-night debut that year on “The Eagle” KEGL-FM (97.1). His ascension to mainstay status began in 1992 when he moved to Kiss FM and began broadcasting his morning show.

Texas native and actor Matthew McConaughey once admitted that he pretended to be Kraddick to get into Dallas nightclubs.

Kraddick’s signature sign off was: “Keep looking up, ’cause that’s where it all is.”


SOURCE: The Dallas Morning News

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