Dick Clark Rockin' NY Eve 2012For many Americans, the lasting legacy of Dick Clark will be his role as a stroke survivor determined to live a normal life

Clark died of a heart attack Wednesday at age 82. He had suffered a debilitating stroke in 2004 and had to learn to walk and talk again — often with difficulty.

But Clark didn’t give in to the symptoms of that stroke, which included slurred, slowed speech and partial paralysis. It was assumed that Clark would have to step down from his iconic “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” duties, but he came back in 2005 co-hosting with Ryan Seacrest.

In doing so, he became a symbol of hope to millions of Americans currently struggling in the aftermath of such a health event.

(READ the story about his stroke in the LA Times)

WATCH a video tribute to his life in TV and music…

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