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Kamal Amin Kasem, better known as Casey Kasem, is a popular American DJ, voiceover artist, television host, and radio personality. In other words, he's a jack of all trades. He's also outspoken about his pride for his Lebanese heritage and trying to improve the community and relations for other Arab-Americans like himself. From a humble background, Kasem was born on April 27th, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan to Lebanese Druze parents, who were grocers in the heavily industrial town. He did relatively well in school, graduating from Wayne State University and showing an early interest in radio. Kasem slowly worked his way up the totem poll of the various radio stations across the city, all the while, developing his distinct DJ personality. Kasem's voice was what set him apart from the hundreds of other radio personalities jockeying for key spots on the radio. That energetic and unique voice led him to be the host of the weekly American Top 40, which was an extremely influential radio program. Playing all the pop hits, he garnered massive audiences and became known around the country for his extensive knowledge of music history and upbeat attitude. Not only did Kasem go on to host numerous radio programs, but he hosted TV shows in Los Angeles, did commercials, narrated television shows, and even made an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. His massive radio audiences made him the perfect fit for voice-over work, most notable as the character "Shaggy" in the Scooby-Doo franchise. His hippie, aw-shucks attitude endeared him to audiences for years and made him an integral part of the cartoon's success. As a vegan, Kasem was passionate about healthy attitudes towards food, especially as the show was geared towards children. His healthy lifestyle affected the way Shaggy was portrayed on the show and how Kasem decided to play the character. Kasem has not only been outspoken about his Lebanese Druze heritage, but also about his continued support for Arab-American causes, issues and politicians. He supported fellow Lebanese-American politician Ralph Nader in his 2000 election bid, throwing his support behind the third-party candidate. Both Kasem and Nader came from similar backgrounds, and Kasem could identify with Nader's politics of working outside the system to better it. In addition to giving his full financial and moral support to Arab-American politicians, Kasem has been active in organizations which help and support the community. According to the Arab-American Institute, Kasem also wrote a brochure which they published, entitled "Arab-Americans: Making a Difference."
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