A Cleaner Campground

Kidd KraddickI got punched right in the face this morning.  Not literally, but when I opened the Dallas Morning News I learned that Kidd Kraddick had died suddenly on Saturday while hosting a charity golf tournament near New Orleans.

Now at this point I suspect you fit into one of two buckets.  Either you have never heard of Kidd or you knew just about every aspect of his life.  Kidd was a longtime broadcaster in Dallas/Ft. Worth who hosted a nationally syndicated morning radio program heard in over 70 markets around the country.  He was an incredible, award-winning talent that understood the art of communication and “mass media connection” better than anyone I ever heard.

I had meet Kidd through broadcasting circles and media events in the late 90s but had not spoken to him in over 12 years.  That’s not to say we had drifted apart. Quite the contrary.  Kidd’s flagship station in Dallas, KISS FM, was one of three stations in “my rotation” during my morning commute. Each weekday I would get an update on what was going on “in the world of Kidd” and his perfectly crafted team of fellow broadcasters which included Kellie, Big Al, Jenna and J Si.

Most of the time the topics were not deep nor particularly thought-provoking but inevitably I would smile and often actually laugh out loud.  That was Kidd’s true gift, the ability to make people smile.

The initial news reports did not reveal a cause of death so my initial reaction was it must have been a heart attack.  Kidd was only 53.  He was weight appropriate, and worked out regularly but also worked in an amazingly stressful bubble where, as far as I get tell, he was rarely able to decompress.   Heart disease continues to be the number one killer in this country and more times than not the first symptom, unfortunately, is sudden death (55% of men and 68% of women).

However, as of now, the reports are indicating that Kidd most likely suffered a brain aneurism.  While an aneurism is far less common than a heart attack it reminds me that now all of the recent research seems to show that what is “good for the heart” is also “good for the brain.”  Other than a terribly stressful occupation I have no idea if Kidd had any risk factors for heart disease or stroke and who knows if an aneurism could have possibly been avoided.  All I know is that most of us, especially men, often take our health for granted until it’s too late.

Over his 30+ year career as a broadcaster Kidd Kraddick had a positive impact on millions of people.  He truly “left the campground cleaner than he found it.”  I hope part of his legacy will be to prompt us to be proactive with our health.  It’s clear that no one can do it for us.

I also encourage you to honor the request of his only child, Caroline:

“Please keep me and my family in your prayers and ask the Lord to watch over my daddy.”