Don Imus, the long-time figure behind morning drive-time radio who died Friday at 79, inspired the biggest names in news to take to Twitter to talk about Imus’ outstanding career contributions, both negative and positive.
Imus’ career spanned decades, lasting until his retirement in March 2018. His outspoken rhetoric concerning politics and pop culture earned him the “I-Man” endearment among his fans and helped shape modern morning television and radio into what it is today. In 2007, Imus caused public outrage when he made derogatory remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Oprah responded by hosting a town hall discussion with Russell Simmons, Common, Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Kevin Liles as part of a two-part series titled, “Now What After Imus.”
“In his heyday, Imus was the best interviewer–an epic talent,” Fox News’ Laura Ingraham wrote on Twitter. “[I had] many great on-air memories in his Astoria studios. And (sorry, haters), [he is] responsible for my 17-year radio career.”
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough talked about the first time he became hooked to listening to Imus on the radio.
Mike Francesa, celebrated sports talk show host for WFAN sports radio, wrote that Imus will be “remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio.”
Shocking news on the passing of my friend, Don Imus. He will long be remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio. My thoughts and prayers to Deirdre and Wyatt. God speed.
— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) December 27, 2019
“I’m heartbroken. I knew the REAL Don Imus. Imus adored his wife and son and his adopted son and had a heart of gold. The work he did for children with cancer will live on forever. Every email he ever sent me made me laugh…Always Smart, witty, irreverent, and iconoclastic. God speed Don Imus as you move to the great rodeo in the sky”
Co-host of “CBS This Morning’s” Anthony Mason tweeted about an interview he conducted with Imus at his Texas ranch last year.
Talking with #DonImus early last year at his Texas ranch, just before his final radio broadcast. It would be his last major interview. Imus died this morning at age 79. Love him or hate him (& he gave his audience cause to do both) he was a giant in #radio pic.twitter.com/iyoZ8jRMQP
— Anthony Mason (@AnthonyMasonCBS) December 27, 2019
Former Gov. of Arkansas and current host of “The Huckabee” on TBN, Mike Huckabee was sad to hear the news on the passing of Imus and applauded his longtime philanthropic efforts.
Sad to hear news of Don Imus death. Was on his show many times. You never knew what mood he would be in but he truly cared about ppl evidences by his unselfish philanthropy for kids with cancer. One of a kind!
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) December 28, 2019
News and politics editorial director of “Essence” recalled Imus’ 2007 moment when he was fired for his derogatory comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
Writer for “A Black Lady Sketch Show” Rae Sanni also recalled Imus’ past words.
Don Imus has died. A victory for nappy headed hos everywhere.
— Rae Sanni (@raesanni) December 27, 2019
Press Secretary for Rapid Response at the Human Rights Campaign Charlotte Clymer spoke out against the current status quo, referring to Imus as a racist and a sexist.
Don Imus was a racist, sexist clown, and it’s awful seeing notable white dudes in media go out of their way to say “yes but so important to radio” when I know your asses won’t give a shit when the next woman, person of color, or queer person dies who was important to radio.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 28, 2019