Richard Wagstaff Clark was born November 30, 1929 in Mount Vernon, New York.He was an average student until he reached the tenth grade and discovered radio..At that time he decided radio would be his career.
American Bandstand provided the first national exposure of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and Chubby Checker among others. The success of the show also encouraged the proliferation of local labels such as Cameo-Parkway, Swan, Jamie, and Chancellor. Clark was financially involved in Swan and Jamie, and acts for these labels, and acts for these labels seemed to prosper more than most as a result of exposure on American Bandstand.
Clark moved his headquarters to Los Angeles in the 1960s. In 1965 he produced "Where The Action Is" for ABC-TV. Hosted by Paul Revere and the Raiders it was a "Bandstand" type show. Clark continued to host American Bandstand after it left ABC-TV and went into syndication. When he quit hosting in 1989 it had become the longest running television variety show of all time.
In 1972, Clark produced and hosted Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, the first of an ongoing series of specials still broadcast on New Year's Eve. The program has typically consisted of live remotes of Clark in Times Square in New York City, counting down until the New Year ball comes down. After the ball drops, the focus of the program switches to musical segments taped prior to the show in Hollywood, California. The special is live in the Eastern Time Zone, and it is delayed for the other time zones so that they can ring in the New Year with Clark when midnight strikes in their area.
ABC has broadcast the event on every New Year's Eve since 1972 except in 1999 when it was pre-empted for ABC 2000 Today, news coverage of the milestone year hosted by Peter Jennings. In the more than three decades it has been on the air, the show has become a mainstay in U.S. New Year's Eve celebrations. Before then, Guy Lombardo (a.k.a. "Mr. New Year's Eve"), along with his big band orchestra, the Royal Canadians, had long been the main draw for New Year's Eve broadcasts for radio and, later, for television (on CBS). Watching the ball in Times Square drop on Clark's show is considered an annual cultural tradition for the New Year's holiday.
Twice, Clark was not able to host his show. The first time happened at the end of 1999, going into 2000, due to ABC 2000 Today. However, during that broadcast, Clark, along with ABC News correspondent Jack Ford, announced his signature countdown to the new year. He was a correspondent, according to the transcript of the broadcast released by ABC News. Ford had been assigned to Times Square during the broadcast, and thus, Clark's role was limited. Nevertheless, he won a Peabody Award for his coverage. The second time happened at the end of 2004, as he was recovering from his stroke; Regis Philbin substituted as host. The following year, Clark returned to the show, although Ryan Seacrest served as primary host. From December 31, 2005, onward, Clark has co-hosted New Year's Rockin Eve with Seacrest.
Dick Clark was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1999, along with Bob Boden, he was one of the executive producers of Fox's TV game show Greed, which ran from November 5, 1999, to July 14, 2000, and was hosted by Chuck Woolery. At the same time, Clark also hosted the Stone-Stanley-created Winning Lines, which ran for six weeks on CBS from January 8, 2000 – February 12, 2000.
From 2001 to 2003, Clark was a co-host of The Other Half with Mario Lopez, Danny Bonaduce, and Dorian Gregory, a syndicated daytime talk show intended to be the male equivalent of The View. Clark also produced the television series American Dreams about a Philadelphia family in the early 1960s whose daughter is a regular on American Bandstand. The series ran from 2002 to 2005.