04/18/2012 04:48 EDT | Updated 04/18/2012 10:10 EDT

Dick Clark Dead: Twitter Reaction Attests To A Loss That Will Be Felt For Years To Come


A TV personality. A syrupy smooth voice on the radio. A long-running game show host.

And, of course, a winning smile to ring in the new year. Every year.

Few growing up in the last century didn't welcome 'America's oldest teenager' into their living rooms.

Dick Clark suffered a heart attack on Wednesday. And, after several attempts to resuscitate him, died in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 82.

Clark's fame didn't come overnight. It began in 1945, as a mail room clerk at a New York radio station. From there, he made the improbable leap to weatherman. And onward to the station's news announcer. Moving onward and upward at a Philadelphia radio and TV station, Clark found himself a substitute host at an afternoon teen dance show called 'Grandstand'.

Well, you know where that ended up -- its name changed to 'American Bandstand,' Clark became its full-time host.

And the show's first guest when it went national?

Elvis Presley.

On our Facebook page, readers wasted no time in chiming in with their favourite Dick Clark memories.

"Watching American Bandstand as a kid..and my parents letting me stay up to watch the NYE show," wrote Sandra Smith.

Neil Clements' favourite memory?

"Spending Saturdays at my grandmother's was never complete without watching American bandstand and checking out the latest American music. I saw my first rap act on that show."

"He brought only happiness to people in his career," added Mike McManus.

"The man who brought to us American Bandstand...need I say more?!" Audrey Murray wrote.

Probably not, Audrey. But Dick Clark did so much more in a career that spanned half a century.

And he leaves an indelible imprint on the future. Clark was the creator and longtime host of "New Years' Rockin' Eve" -- an event that brought families together in front of the TV since its inception in 1972. When he suffered a stroke in 2004, he was forced to retire from the show. But that didn't keep Clark from making annual appearances, ushering in the new year with his trademark smile.

Certainly 2013 won't be the same without Dick Clark.

And the past?

Perhaps reader Cherie Parker Johnson expressed it best, when she wrote:

"Dick Clark's passing saddens me. It's like losing a part of my youth. Me - Saturday mornings - Dick Clark - American Bandstand - Tony Orlando and other incredible entertainers made tons of cherished child and teen memories!"

Here's how the news of his death hit the Twitterverse: