Kidd Kraddick, R.I.P.

photo by Rodger Mallison/MCT/Newscom
photo by Rodger Mallison/MCT/Newscom
Like everyone who listened to Kidd Kraddick, I’m shocked by his death. Age and circumstance play a part in that. Dying at the age of 53 while playing golf? It’s just — man. Hard to fathom. But more than that, it was his profession. We’re all thinking, But I was just listening to him last week. He can’t be dead. (In an odd coincidence, last week Kidd did a bit called “Deathbed Confessions.”) I was only an occasional listener. There are thousands and thousands of people for whom Kidd was an integral part of their lives.

Two quick stories about him. The magazine helped raise some money for his Kidd’s Kids charity in 2007. To thank us, he and the entire morning show brought lunch to our office. No one worked harder than that guy. He deserved every bit of the huge success he achieved.

After reading about the magazine’s efforts to help raise money for Kidd’s Kids, an anonymous donor matched the amount, on the condition that we all go play a round of golf. Kidd had a swing that you’d call less than classically beautiful. Nonetheless, he shot a 77 at Dallas National. Very impressive. He chain-smoked the entire afternoon. When we took this photograph, though, he made sure that he wasn’t snapped with a cigarette in his hand, and he asked that I not mention his smoking when I posted an item about our round of golf. “Too many kids listen to the show,” he said. “I don’t want to set a bad example.”

D Magazine published a profile of Kidd in 2001 titled “Captain Carpool.” Next week, and later, when school starts up again, countless people are going to climb into their cars, stare at that thing with two knobs on the dashboard, and not know what to do with it.


  • marisa

    Only the good die young…….RIP.

  • SybilsBeaver

    my buddy his brother and father were playing golf 2 months ago on a Sunday. The made their standard $10 bet on hole 4, their dad leaned over to grab a pen and never got back up. Had a massive heart attack, he was 53, you just never know man. RIPKIDD, you’ll be missed

  • Everlasting Phelps

    I just hope that Russ Martin has gotten a hold of the 911 tape before 3pm.


    well the chain smoking sure explains a lot…..the coronor did say he had an enlarged heart and several diseased arteries so that does explain a lot…..

    He will be missed but his foundation will live on……….

  • Jax Ashlee Terrell

    you are truly a classless asshole

  • Janell

    All the way out here in Illinois, I still remember listening to Kidd when I live in Arlington, TX – in the 80s and 90s. I can remember the looks on other drivers’ faces as I laughed my ASS off – alone in my car!
    He was a great DJ, a wonderful friend, a funny man, and a caring soul. Dallas/Fort Worth just won’t be the same!!
    RIP Kidd. Keep looking up. ‘Cause that’s where it all is.

  • Anonymous

    Only the stupid who think smoking is cool die young.

    BTW, nicotine is as addictive as crack cocaine.

    Too bad Kraddick couldn’t kick the habit before it was too late. THAT would have been setting a great example for kids. And he’d likely still be here.

    • Jack Dalton

      I am certainly mourning Kidd’s death along with countless thousands, but I suppose a chain smoker has to lie in the proverbial bed he or she made. While I totally agree with Deb that God alone judges and forgives, we cannot be surprised that a man who made a bad lifestyle choice to smoke died early. It’s still unbelievably tragic and sad, but to compare Kidd’s passing to a child dying from cancer is a bit of a stretch. That innocent’s child’s death cannot be explained at all–except that God will in some way work through that sorrow to fulfill His purpose–whereas Kidd’s poor heart health was directly linked to his smoking addiction. Look, I can get behind the wheel of a car drunk and there’s no guarantee I’ll get in a wreck and kill myself or someone else . . . but if the worst does happen . . . well, no need to act so surprised. Is it fair that Kidd died so young while other smokers I know are in their 60s and 70s? Hardly, but when you smoke, or do drugs, or drive drunk, or have unprotected sex, or engage in any other dangerous activity, you’re merely rolling the dice and keeping your fingers crossed . . .

  • Deb Jackson

    Let he who is with out sin cast the first stone….Anonymous, why do you hide who you are? The man is dead and it makes no difference why or what he did in life that may or may not have contributed to it. Explain babies and small children (who have never been exposed to smoke or other cancer causing toxins) dying from Cancer. You can’t explain it and you can’t explain KIDD’s death. You certainly are not a Godly person if you can speak ill of someone who was such a big part of so many people’s lives and so respected by children and adults. I’d bet you haven’t been the image of perfection throughout your life either! People are human and we all fall short of righteous…but whether or not he smoked has nothing to do with the good things he did accomplish in his short 53 years. Try not to be so judgmental of others for a change…and don’t hide behind anonymous if you want to rip on the deceased. God forgives him of his faults…it doesn’t matter whether you do or not.

    All that said, I am a big fan of KIDD and he will be missed. RIP KIDD!

  • Fan

    He asked that you not mention it then, but you decide to mention it after his death? Real respectful dude.

    • Tim Rogers

      I mentioned it because I thought it might be relevant to his death. And because it showed how much he cared about his listeners.

  • Lori B.

    Thank you so much for mentioning this. Some listeners who take ADD/ADHD medication and didn’t know he was a smoker are concerned that his long-term treatment for the same led to his heart disease. Yes, people need to be careful with prescription medication, but smoking is an important part of the equation here.

    So sad that he’s gone. Generous man, and his voice = Dallas radio for me after Jagger left the Edge.

  • LBB

    Still not your call to mention it, especially NOW. If his family or a coroner publicly says it was “relevant to his death” then they can be the ones to say it. Your are lacking in respect and completely trying to stir the pot. I am certain you could of come up with a dozen other ways to demonstrate “how he cared about his listeners”. Think first…

  • dattexas

    He was human, and humans sometimes do things that are not healthy. What matters is that he helped others while he was alive. He made the world a little bit better place for people. The best to his family, friends, and co-workers. Rest in peace, Kidd. You did good.

  • Todd Forbes

    I had no idea that he smoked and when I heard he first died I couldn’t understand how it had happened, but now that you say that it does shed some light on it. And in no way am I bashing Kidd for smoking, it’s a hard habit to quit I’ve had to see my own family struggle with quitting. I agree with you Tim.

  • APoetess

    Thank you for sharing your friendship memories. You’re completely right – there were literally thousands of whom Kidd was an integral part of their lives. Just like me. Thank you for “driving” (pardon the pun) the point that he first and foremost cared about the example he set for kids listening.

    I spoke to and corresponded with Kidd many times. Even did a radio interview with him.

    My younger sons have grown up listening to him. They’re as heartbroken like me. My older daughter (married with children of her own now) feels the loss.

    When school starts up again, you’re right…many more families will miss him.

    Me?! I’m loading up the ipod and PC’s with lots of CLASSIC radio – the VERY BEST (which was EVERYTHING) of Kidd Kraddick.

    RIP, David Peter Craddick.

  • Brad Beard

    I now wonder if Kidd knew his days were numbered given last weeks show regarding deathbed confessions.

    My father passed at very early age of 46. He was a chain smoker to the nth degree for years and died of cardiac arrest (dead before he hit the floor). There were many warning signs leading to his ultimate demise so his one and only heart attack was no surprise.

    My father tried to hide and ignore his failing heart
    condition for what he thought was our protection but we all knew what was happening.

    I wonder if Kidd hid from us his failing heart condition for our protection.

    There must have been warning signs.


    • thabratt

      Just for my own knowledge as I have many peeps in my life that have been or are still very heavy smokers and have since moved to e-cigs. It does not change the fact that they used to smoke very heavily for many years. What were the warning signs that you speak of…if you don’t mind sharing?

    • T2p

      There had to be signs. My dad died @ 47 from a heart attract, he was in the hospital getting released when it happened. I remember my dad smoked a little but after cleaning up his work shop did we find out how much. It should be known That Kidd smoked to send a warning to others, it does not change my opinion of what a great man Kidd is and what he has done for kids! I will miss you Kidd, and prayers to his family to help get through this.

  • mll7117

    Disappointed that you felt the need to “mention” his habit. He requested that small bit of privacy in life and probably more so in death. With all he gave to so many people, I think that was classless. I only ran across this article in researching his old comedy bits! Accidentally! Never heard of you before. Lost all respect. First impressions are lasting….. 🙁

  • Mandy

    We all strive to live our lives according to the Word. Following the Commandments. But, Kidd requested privacy pertaining to an action that he was obviously not proud of, nor did he want it publicized. Absolute lack of respect! Did this reporter ever “mention” this habit while Kidd was alive? I doubt it! As an avid listener, I never heard the comedy bit he would have come up with from this article!! 🙂 Thanks for the laugh, Tim Rogers!! 🙂

  • itzallgood

    I’m glad you mentioned it. As bewildered as everyone was to hear the news of his sudden passing, this helps put things more in perspective and after asking, “how could this happen?” over and over in my head, I’m glad I know!

  • Lwo

    Google the Mayo Clinic or WebMD. You
    Should find helpful info there.
    I’m ASSUMING he may have had fatigue,
    Unexplained aches/pains, high BP. Things
    Most people ignore 🙁

  • Shelia DeVille

    So you pick now to tell everyone he was a chain smoker??

  • Shelia DeVille

    So you pick now to tell everyone he is a chain smoker.

  • Jennifer

    I was about to say a similar thing…he didn’t want you to mention it then, so why do so in his death…so classless. How he died is not important. That he’s gone is what is so sad about this story and how he positively influenced so many people’s lives IS important. You will not be forgotten, Kidd. Our prayers and with your family.

  • Matthew Arnold

    You should have stayed mum on the smoking issue. I know it’s a difficult journalistic decision because people want to know why someone died so early. You agreed to keep quiet on the subject while he was alive, his death did not release you from that trust.

  • Matthew Arnold

    I am not what you’d call Kidd Kraddock’s target audience, but as the father of two girls I would listen to his show occasionally while driving them to school. He was very talented, and his death is very sad.

    I too felt you should have stayed mum on the chain smoking issue. I know it is a tough journalistic call given the public’s natural desire to know why something like this happened. Your decision to disclose it now was not wholly without class as some have said, still, he asked for privacy regarding this habit, and you agreed. His death did not alleviate you of that trust.

    • thereisalight

      If Kidd’s death convinces someone else to quit smoking — wouldn’t it be worth mentioning? If the revelation convinced your child that cigarettes are disgusting/vile/deadly — would it be worth it to you then? There is a lesson here. I’m sure Kidd would want us to heed the warning.