Mary Ann Foster, Kasell wife, said the cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Carl Ray Kasell, A native of Goldsboro, North Carolina, was a student of drama in high school. Kasell knew he would be in radio at a young age, and he indeed began practicing his newscaster voice as a child and got his first on-air job at 16. And while at the University of North Carolina, Kassel helped launch local radio station WUNC.

Kassel was drafted into the U.S. Army. And, after serving, he worked as an announcer and DJ at radio station WGBR in Goldsboro, North Carolina. After leaving North Carolina, He advanced to the position of news director at WAVA in Arlington, Virginia.

He then joined National Public Radio's staff as a news announcer for "All Things Considered" in 1975. He was also the news announcer for NPR's "Morning Edition" for 30 years from 1979 to 2009.

Kasell as an NPR newscaster

In that role, Kasell became one of public radio's most recognizable voices. he had that reassuring comforting deep sound. And he engaged with his listeners through unfolding history from the 1979 crisis in Iran, to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He skillfully conveyed dramatic news while still maintaining an unforced conversational delivery. An NPR executive described Kasell as the warm voice of an informed companion.

In 2009, NPR announced that Kasell would retire from newscasting. But he continued to work for NPR through fundraising and visits to member stations, he also continued to appear as the official scorer of “Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!”.

Kasell's final newscast aired on December 30, 2009.

Wait wait - don't tell me!

Kasell challenged that solid reputation of a newscaster and showed the lighter side of himself when he featured in several segments including "Who's Carl This Time?" and the “Listener Limerick Challenge,” and when he signed on as a judge and scorekeeper for “Wait Wait,” a weekly news quiz launched by NPR and hosted by Peter Sagal in 1998.

Kasell dug deeper in that side of him as he sarcastically re-created celebrity voices on the show, such as Britney Spears [VIDEO], Monica Lewinsky [VIDEO], and Lindsay Lohan, but he was not so good at it. As Sagal said, “He was in on the joke, you could laugh at him, and he’d love it.”

In another statement, Sagal called him "the kindest, most decent person I have ever known," adding, "hearing him say my name, that very first time, made me feel like I had somehow made it."

Sagal described him as “the voice of NPR, the brand as a voice, made us sound like we were an actual NPR show.”

Retirement and death

Kasell's final show on "Wait Wait ...

Don't Tell Me!" was recorded on May 15, 2014, and broadcast two days later.

Celebrities like Tom Hanks [VIDEO], Stephen Colbert, Katie Couric, and President Barack Obama [VIDEO] called in to the show to voice their appreciation for Kasell.

He published his memoir titled “Wait Wait ... I'm Not Done Yet” In September 2014.

Kasell died on April 17, at his wife Mary Ann Foster's side, of complications from Alzheimer's disease, in Potomac, Maryland. He was 84.