Radio host Art Bell, famous for his show “Coast to Coast AM” and its “X-Files”-flavored focus on the paranormal, died Friday (his fans will note, that was Friday the 13th) at the age of 72, Nevada authorities confirmed Saturday.
Bell died at his Pahrump, Nev., home, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly announced in a Facebook post to the community. She described him as a “longtime resident” of the area and said an autopsy to confirm the cause of death would be performed later this week.
“Coast to Coast AM” confirmed the news on Twitter, saying its staff was “profoundly saddened with the news that the creator and original host of Coast to Coast AM, Art Bell, has passed away at the age of 72.”
According to an obituary shared by the program, the show became syndicated across the country in 1993 and drew in listeners with its wee-hours chatter about conspiracy theories and aliens, shadow people and spectral energy.
The obituary said that as Bell “begins his journey on the ‘Other Side,’ we take solace in the hope that he is now finding out all of the answers to the mysteries he pursued for so many nights with all of us.”
Even after relinquishing his title as host in the early 2000s, Bell returned to the airwaves now and then, and he also started a show for satellite radio, the obituary said.
Before “Coast to Coast AM” began, Bell, who was born in 1945, was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and there he “indulged his childhood passion for radio by operating a pirate radio station,” according to the obituary.
The show tweeted a comment from its current host, George Noory, who described Bell as “a legend – a radio icon who went against the grain and developed an amazing show called ‘Coast to Coast AM.’ His impact on my life is beyond words. He will be missed, but I know he is now on another journey.”
Bell broadcast “Coast to Coast” from his radio station, KNYE, in Pahrump.
During Bell’s National Radio Hall of Fame induction in 2008, his former business partner, Alan Corbeth, said no one was better than Bell at understanding “how to create theater of the mind.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.