Don Bustany passed away early one morning in late April, peacefully, at his assisted-living home in Santa Barbara, after a long illness. Having lived a full life, he lost his wife Judy some years ago, as well as his life-long friend and radio partner Casey Kasem. He had decided to refuse further treatment. He is survived by a stepdaughter, Kristen. R.I.P.
Don was born in Detroit to Lebanese-American parents. He and radio host & voice actor Casey Kasem were childhood friends and later co-creators of the syndicated radio programs American Top 40 and American Country Countdown.
In the 1970s, Bustany was camera coordinator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and other MTM productions. Earlier he had produced local talk shows on several Los Angeles, California stations. He had a BA in Liberal Arts from Wayne State University and an MS in Communications from Syracuse University.
Bustany was an activist for the Palestinian Right of Return. From 1996 until 2014, he produced and hosted the radio program Middle East In Focus on KPFK, the Los Angeles station of the Pacifica Radio network. He remained a correspondent to the program. The show’s “mission is to fill the many gaps left by the mainstream media in their coverage” of the Middle East.
He was a member of the advisory committee of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and in the 1990s, served for four terms as president of the organization’s Los Angeles chapter. For statements that have been critical of the Zionist Movement and Israel, he has been criticized by such organizations as the JDL and the Zionist Organization of America.
Bustany was also a member of the board of directors of the Southern California Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action, a liberal political group.
Don was a wonderful person and a great activist. – Frank Dorrel
Don Bustany – Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Bustany