Tom Magliozzi, Co-Host Of NPR’s ‘Car Talk, died at 77

  Dead Famous

Dead, Thomas Louis Magliozzi on November 3, 2014 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, he was 77, co-hosts of NPR’s weekly radio show, Car Talk, where they were known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” with his brother.

Born in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he attended Gannett School, Wellington School, Cambridge High and Latin School, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While at MIT, he participated in Air Force ROTC, and subsequently he spent six months in the Army Reserve.

Tom and Ray both appeared in the Pixar film Cars (2006). They played the owners of Rust-eze, who discovered Lightning McQueen and gave him his first big break.

Tom appeared as a 1963 Dodge Dart convertible, a reference to a 1963 Dart convertible he owned for many years and often mentioned on Car Talk.

Ray appeared as a 1964 Dodge A100 van. In the film, they each admonished: “Don’t drive like my brother”, the catchphrase from the close of their radio show.

“His laugh is the working definition of infectious laughter,” says Doug Berman, the long time producer of Car Talk.

He remembers the first time he ever encountered Magliozzi. The Magliozzi brothers grew up in a tough neighbourhood of East Cambridge, Mass., in a close-knit Italian family.

Tom was 12 years older, the beloved older brother to Ray.

They liked to act like they were just a couple of regular guys who happened to be mechanics, but both of them graduated from MIT.

After getting out of college, Tom Magliozzi went to work as an engineer.

One day he had a kind of epiphany, he told graduates when he and Ray gave the 1999 commencement address at their alma mater.

They got into radio by accident when someone from the local public radio station, WBUR, was putting together a panel of car mechanics for a talk show.

Tom and Ray made Car Talk a weekly must-hear show, turning their advice about car troubles into entertaining radio with their jokes and brotherly bantering, with each other and with their call-in guests.

Many people called as much to talk to them as to find out what was wrong with their cars.

The show, one of NPR’s most popular, began as a radio show on WBUR in Boston decades ago, back when more people actually fixed their own cars.

The brothers took calls, answered questions, offered their brain-teasing math “puzzlers” and generally goofed off.

Tom was the first in his family to attend college. He got a degree in chemical engineering, but he was never that enthralled by work, particularly the 9-to-5 world.

Tom is survived by his first wife, Julia; second wife, Joanne; his children, Lydia Icke, Alex and Anna Magliozzi; five grandchildren; and his close companion of recent years, Sylvia Soderberg.