LAS COLINAS –– Dallas-based nationally syndicated radio host David "Kidd" Kraddick's sudden death on a New Orleans golf course was cardiac related, according to a preliminary autopsy report by the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office.
Kraddick, 53, died Saturday afternoonwhile attending an annual fundraiser for his charity Kidd's Kids at Timberlane Country Club in Gretna, Louisiana. Jefferson Parish Deputy Coroner Granville Morse said heart disease was "evident" and that drug use was not suspected. A routine toxicology report is pending.
Morse said Kraddick had an enlarged heart, which is a sign of high blood pressure. He also had three diseased vessels and one of his arteries had an 80 percent blockage, the deputy coroner said.
Hours before the sun rose Monday morning, hundreds of fans visited the Las Colinas studio where he had for years recorded his syndicated radio show Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, which aired locally on KISS-FM 106.1. They came bearing homemade signs and left flowers along the sidewalk outside. The makeshift memorial stretched more than 20 feet.
"Kidd's been a part of everybody's morning and my morning for 19 years, so he belongs to Dallas," said co-host Kellie Rasberry. "I am glad that Dallas has turned out to celebrate his life."
Mourners tearfully hugged Kraddick's colleagues as they made their way into work. The show went on, albeit an hour later than usual: 7 a.m.
"Good morning," said Rasberry. "For the first time, we are Kidd Kraddick without Kidd Kraddick."
Kidd Kraddick in the Morning was beamed out of the nation's fifth largest media market and landed on more than 75 radio stations nationwide. He started in Dallas at The Eagle in 1984, before moving to KISS-FM nine years later. His show became syndicated in 2001.
"I keep thinking I'll wake up and he'll be back," a tearful Susan Commorato said Monday. She came to the studio with her two daughters.
"I'm 27 and that's 20 years that I basically heard him growing up," said listener Valerie Commorato.
Her sister Tina called him a hero for many people.
"He did so much and he's so selfless," she said. "Even though you never knew him personally, he's still a big part of your life."
With his sudden death, the show's future is in the air.
"It's like having a car with no motor right now," said co-host Big Al Mack. "We'll just have to wait and see what happens."