America's oldest teenager was 82 when he left us
Anyone who ever enjoyed music between the years 1945 and 2012 will have heard of Dick Clark and will have been influenced by his ability to be the world's greatest music show host.
Much is made of his influence, his friendliness, his eternally youthful appearance (comparisons with Dorian Grey are always rampant).
But another aspect of his contribution to TV which is being mentioned a lot today is his boldness in crossing race barriers in the 1950's and 1960's.
Did this TV host, who did not really perform, but rather introduced, managed, delivered the very notion of youth music to a nation undergoing change, did this man have a positive effect on race relations?
He did, but not by saying anything, not by preaching, not by being controversial.
Dick Clark helped integrate America by assuming it was integrated...by being subtle...by simply assuming that youth would want to listen to anyone's music if it was good, had a beat and you could dance to it
In this he embodied America and the American spirit of tolerance and innovation.
Dick Clark was intensely respected and trusted. In many ways, he was the Walter Cronkite of every teen generation from 1945 to 2012. Teens trusted him to bring them wonderful music and to treat them with respect as adults...always referring to them as Ladies and Gentlemen.
An American teenager died today ... but he gave us the optimism of youth for over 60 years
He'll be sorely missed ... we need another eternal teen.