TEXAS—Radio personality John Donald Imus Jr., 79, died on Friday, December 27 from complications of lung disease after being hospitalized at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, on Christmas Eve.

Imus began his career with his first radio host job at KUTY out of Palmdale, CA in 1968. Imus emulated the idea behind Howard Stern’s own success and began “Imus in the morning” in 1993. He managed to be known for his many talents, including radio personality, television host, recording artist, and author.

He was known for his controversial personality and opinions. Imus was fired from CBS Radio in 2007 after he called the Rutgers University Women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hoes.” Many were angered by Imus’ controversial remarks, including other derogatory words made towards African-Americans, Jews, and Arabs.

Imus was born in Riverside to a wealthy family and later joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He was honorably discharged, where he later worked as a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad and in a uranium mine in Arizona. He suffered a mining accident that broke both of his legs and collapsed one lung.

In March 2018, Cumulus Media, in a the middle of a financial crisis, told Imus they were going to stop paying him, and Imus ended his show. His final show aired on March 29, 2018.

In March 2009, Imus was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer. He was advised to have radiation treatments, but opted to treat the disease holistically. He is survived by his two step-daughters, his two daughters Ashley and Elizabeth from his first marriage, his son Frederick Wyatt, his adopted son Zack, and his wife Deirdre Coleman.