'Family Feud' Host Richard Dawson Dead at 79

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The famous host of the original Family Feud, Richard Dawson has died from complications due to esophageal cancer.

According to Gary Dawson, who posted a message on Facebook this morning, who stated:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my father passed away this evening from complications due to esophageal cancer. He was surrounded by his family. He was an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad, and a doting grandfather. He will be missed but always remembered…”

Dawson hosted Family Feud from 1976-1985, and then from 1994-1995. He was famous for flirting and kissing the contestants on the show, known as the “Kissing Bandit” He was also famous for being a regular on The Match Game and for playing Capt. Peter Newkirk on Hogan’s Heros.

Dawson was married to Gretchen Johnson, a contestant along with her family on The Feud and got married in 1991.

Dawson is survived by his wife, Gretchen, and two sons from his first wife, Diana Dors.

Our sincerest condolences to his family.