Tom Magliozzi, who hosted NPR's "Car Talk" with his brother Ray Magliozzi, died on Monday at the age of 77; Magliozzi was suffering from Alzheimer's.
Magliozzi was one half of "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers," and each week brought his full-bellied laugh, witty jokes, funny banter and, yes, even car expertise to NPR.
"I'd just hear this laughter," said Doug Berman, who produced "Car Talk" for many years. "And then there'd be more of it, and people would sort of gather around him. He was just kind of a magnet."
"The Magliozzi brothers grew up in a tough neighborhood of East Cambridge, Mass., in a close-knit Italian family," NPR wrote. "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."
Before entertaining fans on the radio, Magliozzi was an engineer. Eventually he and his younger brother Ray, 12 years his junior, opened up a DIY auto shop, called Hackers Heaven, and later opened up Good News Garage.
Falling into radio, NPR explained, was sort of a happy accident. Mechanics were asked to appear on a WBUR show about cars: Tom Magliozzi was the only one who showed up. He was asked back and brought his younger brother along, and "Car Talk" was born.