Obamas Mourn Death of Dick Clark, 'America's Oldest Teenager'

PHOTO: Host Dick Clark onstage during Dick Clarks New Years Rockin Eve 2009 With Ryan Seacrest, Dec. 31, 2008 in New York City.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday mourned the death of famed television producer Dick Clark, praising his contributions of expanding the audience for popular music and his four-decade run as the master of ceremonies at New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square.

"Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Dick Clark," the president said in a written statement after news broke that Clark had succumbed to a massive heart attack.

"With 'American Bandstand,' he introduced decades' worth of viewers to the music of our times," Obama said. "He reshaped the television landscape forever as a creative and innovative producer. And, of course, for 40 years, we welcomed him into our homes to ring in the New Year."

"But more important than his groundbreaking achievements was the way he made us feel — as young and vibrant and optimistic as he was.  As we say a final 'so long' to Dick Clark, America's oldest teenager, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends — which number far more than he knew," the president said.

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