Fresh-faced and charming, Dick Clark was a fixture of American TV from the late 1950s until his 2012 passing. As host of American Bandstand, he introduced rock’n’roll to a whole generation of impressionable teenagers and helped launch the careers of many famous musicians. But behind his boyish grin was a man involved in the shadier side of the music business—including the 1960 Payola scandal.

Dick Clark Facts

1. He Chose His Career At A Young Age

Most of us dabble in a few things before deciding on our career, but Clark knew what he wanted when he saw it. Born in 1929 as Richard Wagstaff Clark, Dick Clark grew up an average student in Mount Vernon, New York—until he encountered radio and immediately knew what he wanted to do with his life. In 1945, he began working at WRUN in Utica, NY.

However, while it was an exciting beginning, it came at an incredibly tragic time.

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