Controversial former radio host Don Imus dead at age 79

The former "shock jock" host was 79 years old.

Controversial American radio host Don Imus died Friday, according to a statement from his family. He was 79 years old.

Imus died at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, where he had been hospitalized since Christmas Eve, according to his family.

"Deirdre, his wife of 25 years, and his son Wyatt, 21, were at his side, and his son Lt. Zachary Don Cates is returning from military service overseas," the family said in a statement.

His show, "Imus in the Morning," was on the air from June 1, 1968, until March 29, 2018. Imus worked for WABC radio from 2007-2018.

Imus got into trouble in 2007 after he directed derogatory remarks toward the Rutgers University women's basketball team, calling them "rough girls" when talking about the NCAA women's basketball championship.

The "shock jock" was also known for his charity work, which included helping sick and dying children at his ranch.

The Imus family said it would hold a small private service for "The I-Man" in the coming days.