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Fred Imus Dead at Age 69

August 10th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

I used to be a Howard Stern fan when I was in my twenties and early thirties and then after hearing the same show repeatedly, (Stern is nearly 60 years old and still has strippers on parading around in his studio. Obviously a man who never grew up – blah, blah blah – such a bore), I turned the dial and started listening to Don Imus.
I wasn’t a huge Don Imus fan, however one part of the show I enjoyed immensely was when he would chat on air with a very minor celebrity – his brother, Fred Imus. I was shocked to hear that Fred was only 69 years old. The public has always been and still is very critical of how Don Imus looks so much older than his years (71 now) but Fred looked even older and he was the younger brother.
I read on the web just today that Fred Imus died peacefully (I hate when journalists use the adverb “peacefully” whenever people die in their sleep; there is a whole lot of brain activity going on when one sleeps, so not to be grim, I doubt very much that it is peaceful; leave out your subjective feelings when writing an obituary)on Sat., 8/6/2011 in his trailer in Tucson, Arizona.
Fred was more like a caller than a guest. His humor was dry, crass at times (any ex-Stern fans would find it very tame), matter-of-fact and wise. For me personally, I listened to The Imus show for news with a little bit of humor and for the Fred Imus call-in. I would not say that Fred was the funniest man in the world nor did I even think of him much after the show was over. What surprised me was that the brothers, Don and Fred, were very close their entire lives. This may be apocryphal, but Fred was instrumental in referring Don’s material to a particular radio station. Don was immediately hired in 1969 and fired a short time afterward for saying “hell.” Moreover, as we all know the rest is history for Don Imus – he’s been hired and subsequently fired for some controversial reason his whole entire career.
What I loved most about Fred, aside from his gruff, down-to-earth take on current events but his absolutely sincere lack of interest in celebrity (he lived in a trailer) and his genuine desire to have his older brother Don, be successful and have just a great show. Fred did not begrudge Don one smidgeon of fame and fortune and Don never forgot his younger brother. The brothers swiped at each other’s flaws and shortcomings relentlessly but they nevertheless had such a connection that they would fearlessly and unabashedly say after every call that they loved each other. .
R.I.P. – Fred Imus.
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4 Responses to “Fred Imus Dead at Age 69”

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