70 Facts About Don Imus


Don Imus's radio show, Imus in the Morning, was aired on various stations and digital platforms nationwide until 2018.


Don Imus was fired from WNBC in 1977, and following a one-year stint at WHK in Cleveland was rehired by WNBC in 1979.


Don Imus remained at the station until it left the air in 1988, at which time his show moved to WFAN, which took over WNBC's former frequency of 660 kHz.


Don Imus was fired by CBS Radio in April 2007 after describing the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos".


Don Imus died the following year of complications from lung disease.


Don Imus was said to have Welsh, English, and Polish roots.


Don Imus disliked school, moving "from one hideous private school to another" and described himself as a "horrible adolescent".


In 1957, while living in Prescott, Arizona, Don Imus dropped out of high school and joined the United States Marine Corps at Base Camp Pendleton where he was stationed in an artillery unit before transferring to the Drum and Bugle Corps.


Don Imus left the Marines with an honorable discharge, and secured work as a window dresser in San Bernardino, before he was fired for performing strip teases on the mannequins for passersby.


Don Imus then moved to Hollywood with his brother in an attempt to find success as musicians and songwriters, but they struggled to get radio DJs to play their songs on the air.


Don Imus suffered a mining accident that broke both of his legs.


Don Imus was an instant success at the station; in two months, he had become number one in ratings for his time slot, and earned a Billboard Award for Air Personality of the Year in a medium-sized market.


Don Imus then had a brief tenure at KJOY in Stockton, California, from which he was fired due to an incident that some sources attributed to his Eldridge Cleaver look-a-like contest in which the winner would be incarcerated for a year.


Don Imus was honored by Billboard as the number one radio personality for 1971, an honor he shared with KMPC's Gary Owens.


Don Imus once contacted an Ohio Bell phone operator to ask if she was married and if "you mess around", prompting the phone company's lawyers to contact the station.


Don Imus devoted one show to help a Yugoslavian immigrant find a bride in order to prevent his deportation after it was discovered he entered the country illegally.


On December 2,1971, less than three years into his radio career, Don Imus started his morning show at WNBC in New York City, with a $100,000 per year salary which was said to have been double his WGAR salary.


Don Imus was involved in various projects during his time at WNBC.


Don Imus released three albums containing radio segments and songs: 1200 Hamburgers to Go, One Sacred Chicken to Go, and This Honky's Nuts.


Don Imus started to drink heavily during this period, which soon affected his working life.


Don Imus started to miss work and became increasingly unmanageable.


Don Imus described himself as "awful" and "a jerk" during this time, and struggled to find a suitable job in New York City that satisfied his salary demands.


Don Imus returned to Cleveland and began an afternoon drive show on WHK in 1978.


Don Imus found the experience humiliating, but took the job in order to earn money and "get my act together".


On September 3,1979, Don Imus returned to the air in mornings at WNBC from 5:30 am.


Don Imus continued to drink, and his on- and off-air behavior became erratic; he turned up for work without shoes and slept on park benches with large amounts of money in his pocket.


In July 1981, Don Imus released his first book, God's Other Son, a novel about the life of his on-air character Billy Sol Hargis that he wrote with McCord.


Don Imus was the utility announcer for Geraldo Rivera's monthly TV series Good Night America, which aired as a recurring segment of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment program, and he was one of the inaugural video jockeys for the launch of VH-1, sister cable channel to MTV, in 1985.


In 1989, Don Imus signed a five-year deal to continue his show on WFAN.


Later in 1989, Don Imus accepted an invitation to become an honorary assistant coach for a basketball game between the Fordham Rams and La Salle Explorers the following January.


Don Imus took on the cause of the living conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, visiting wounded veterans at the hospital to boost morale.


Don Imus's reporting preceded Army resignations, including that of Lieutenant General Kevin Kiley, then Army Surgeon General.


Don Imus had earlier criticized Kiley's personal fitness for military duty and dedication to wounded soldiers.


Don Imus characterized the Rutgers University women's basketball team, a team that included nine African-American players, including the five starters, as "rough girls" on April 4,2007.


The discussion continued with Don Imus describing the women as "nappy-headed hos" and McGuirk remarking that the two teams looked like the "jigaboos versus the wannabes" as mentioned in Spike Lee's film School Daze, apparently referring to the two teams' differing appearances.


Howard Stern discussed how he had heard Don Imus make racist comments which were directed at a black female co-worker while the two were working at WNBC.


Don Imus dismissed the controversy at first, calling the incident "some idiot comment meant to be amusing".


Don Imus stated that "nappy-headed hos" is a term which rap artists use to refer to black women.


The Rutgers basketball team held a news conference at which coach C Vivian Stringer stated the team would meet with Imus to discuss his comments.


Team captain Essence Carson said that Don Imus's remarks had "stolen a moment of pure grace from us".


Just hours after the announcement of his firing, Don Imus met with Stringer and her team at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey governor's mansion.


Don Imus left without commenting, but Stringer said that the meeting went well.


Don Imus hired prominent attorney Martin Garbus by May 2,2007, to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit against CBS for the remaining $40 million on his five-year contract.


The contract contained a clause indicating that CBS hired and supported Don Imus to produce "irreverent" and "controversial" programming.


Don Imus was the only player to pursue legal damages.


The New York Post reported on July 16,2007, that Don Imus was in search of a black comedian to join the show upon its return to help cushion racially insensitive comments that he might say on the air.


The report said that Don Imus's representatives had contacted Buckley Broadcasting, Citadel Broadcasting, and Clear Channel Communications.


Don Imus has the right to make a living, but because he has such a consistent pattern with this we are going to monitor him to make sure he doesn't do it again.


In September 2008, Don Imus signed a multi-year deal with Fox Business Network to simulcast his radio show Don Imus in the Morning.


Don Imus called Barton a "congressional dirtbag", because Barton used his position as a committee chair to prevent passage of the Combating Autism Act, which would authorize funds for autism research.


Don and Deirdre Imus were allegedly upset over Mallette's possession of a cap-gun and pocket knife on ranch property.


Dr Pearson accused Don Imus of threatening him during a July 13,2004, confrontation at the ranch, after a disagreement over how to care for one of the children at the ranch.


In late 2005, Don Imus expressed his grievances about the case on the record to journalist Buzz Bissinger, for a Vanity Fair article which was published in the February 2006 issue.


Don Imus was a part owner of Autobody Express stores with his late brother, Fred.


Don Imus owned a small coffee and pastry store located in the Mohegan Sun casino.


Don Imus won four Marconi Awards, three for Major Market Personality of the Year and one for Network Syndicated Personality.


Don Imus was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.


Around 1969, he married his first wife Harriet Showalter, who had two daughters from a previous marriage, Nadine and Toni; Don Imus adopted Showalter's daughters.


Don Imus married Deirdre Coleman on December 17,1994, and they stayed together until Don Imus's death in 2019.


At the time of his death, Don Imus resided in Brenham, Texas, at a ranch he acquired in 2013.


Don Imus moved there full-time in 2015, after ending his Fox Business television simulcast in New York and from there started broadcasting his show solely on radio with the cast members broadcasting from the WABC radio studios.


Don Imus raised millions for the rehabilitation of wounded veterans of the Iraq war and for children with cancer and siblings of victims of sudden infant death syndrome, who had spent summers since 1999 on his ranch near Ribera, New Mexico.


The summer program serving children ended in 2014, following a rib injury Don Imus suffered in a fall from a horse.


The ranch failed to sell after repeated efforts to do so, leading Don Imus to put the property up for auction in May 2017.


Don Imus attended meetings and ceased to drink in public, but continued to drink in private.


In 2000, Don Imus suffered serious injuries after a fall from a horse at his ranch and broadcast several shows from a hospital.


In March 2009, Don Imus was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer.


Don Imus was advised to have radiation treatments, but said he chose to treat the disease holistically.


Don Imus: We're poised to support this bogus tennis thing of yours.


Don Imus: We'll hear about two weeks from now the guy suddenly is a fagatation situation.