January 20, 1965 – Alan Freed

American disc jockey Alan Freed died from urenia brought on by alcoholism at the age of 43. 

He is often referred to as the “father of rock’n’roll” due to his promotion of the genre as well as his introduction of the phrase “rock and roll”.

In the late 50s, Freed’s reputation was tarnished when it was discovered that he had accepted payola – payments in cash and kind from record companies in exchange for playing specific records.