(Reuters) - U.S. radio host Art Bell, known for his discussions of conspiracy theories and paranormal phenomena during his popular syndicated show "Coast to Coast AM", has died at his home in Nevada aged 72, the local sheriff's office said.
The show developed a cult following after he created it in 1993 and was touted as the country's most listened to overnight radio program. It featured Bell expounding on topics as diverse as UFO sightings, Bigfoot and crop circles.
Bell retired in 2015 citing safety concerns for his family. His studios were located in his hometown of Pahrump, in Nye County, Nevada.
Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly announced the death of the "longtime resident" in a brief video statement. She said he died on Friday, and that an autopsy was scheduled for later this week to determine the cause of death.
The current host of the show, George Noory, said in a statement: "Art was a legend – a radio icon who went against the grain and developed an amazing show ... His impact on my life is beyond words. He will be missed, but I know he is now on another journey."
"Coast to Coast AM" airs on more than 600 stations nationwide and is broadcast Monday through Sunday from 1-5 a.m. ET, according to Premiere Networks, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia, the leading audio company in the United States.
Reporting by Daniel Wallis in New York; Editing by David Gregorio