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“Tom’s been such a dominant, positive personality amongst us for so long that all of us in the public radio family — and I include our millions of listeners — will find this news very difficult to receive,” said Car Talk executive producer Doug Berman in a statement reported by NPR.
Magliozzi was best known as half of the radio show duo Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, the personas he and his younger brother, Ray, created in 1977 for Boston’s NPR affiliate, WBUR, according to the news report.
The notoriously self-deprecating duo retired from radio in 2012, after 35 years on air. NPR continues to rerun their popular shows.
Ray Magliozzi posted a statement on NPR’s Car Talk blog announcing his brother’s death and assuring readers that Tom had lived a good life.
“We can be happy that he lived the life he wanted to live; goofing off a lot, talking to you guys every week, and primarily, laughing his ass off,” Ray Magliozzi wrote. “In lieu of flowers, or rotten fish, I know my brother would prefer that folks make a donation to their favorite public radio station in his memory.”
Tom Magliozzi attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked as an engineer, consultant and college professor before following his dream of opening a “do-it-yourself” auto repair shop with his brother in the early 1970s, according to NPR’s obituary. They named the shop Hackers Heaven and later opened a traditional repair shop called the Good News Garage.
NPR reported the brothers got into radio by accident, after a WBUR representative asked them to join a panel of car mechanics for a talk show. “[Tom] went over and he was the only one who showed up,” Berman said. The station liked what Tom had to say and invited him back the following week. Tom returned with Ray and a show was born.
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