Don Imus Remembered by Mike Francesca, Joe Scarborough and More: ‘One of the True Giants in the History of Radio’

Imus died on Friday morning at the age of 79

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Shortly after the new broke that Don Imus, the host of the long-running radio show “Imus in the Morning,” had died on Friday morning at the age of 79, media figures and celebrities took to social media to share their condolences.

“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,” wrote Mike Francesca on Twitter.

“Morning Joe obviously owes its format to Don Imus,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who replaced Imus at the network, which simulcasted his program, wrote on Twitter. “No one else could have gotten away with that much talk on cable news. Thanks for everything, Don, and Godspeed.”

“In his heyday Imus was the best interviewer–an epic talent,” wrote Laura Ingraham. “Many great on-air memories in his Astoria studios, and (sorry, haters) responsible for my 17-year radio career.”

While Imus was described by the New York Times’ David Carr as “one of the most popular radio hosts in the country” in 2007, he garnered swift and public backlash that year for making racist and sexist remarks about players for Rutgers women’s basketball team, whom he had called “rough girls” and “nappy-headed hos.” At the time, Imus had apologized for his “thoughtless and stupid” comments but was ultimately fired from CBS. However, many celebrities and members of the media haven’t forgotten.

“Don Imus is dead, this nappy headed hoe forgets your comments and wishes you a sweet transition,” wrote “Real Housewives” cast member Katie Rost.

“Don Imus, a veteran radio broadcaster and racist who lost his job in 2007, has died. He was 79,” wrote comedian DL Hughley.

But even before then, Imus’ brash and confrontational style often included insults and jokes made at the expense of underrepresented groups. Still, Imus’ popularity led him to be named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People in America in 1997. The shock jock was also inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.

See the reactions below.