Dick Clark presiding over his final New Year's Eve (Dec. 31, 2011)

Dick Clark, who launched American Bandstand, and decades later gave millions a New Year’s Eve alternative, died today of a massive heart attack in California at age 82. The man long considered an influential figure in the world of broadcasting and rock music, was nicknamed “America’s Oldest Teenager” for his perpetual and youthful, good looks.

Clark suffered a stroke in 2004 causing partial paralysis. His speech was also affected as noticed each year since in his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve broadcast from Times Square. In 2005, he was joined by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who did the heavy lifting.

Clark was a standout talent behind the camera as well. He was the chairman and chief executive of the production company that bears his name.

“He was the absolute best,” Norm N. Nite, former WCBS-FM air personality, tells FishbowlNY. “Nobody did it better than Dick Clark. What can you say about a guy you know for 40 years?”

Read more