Washington, DC | www.adc.org | April 23, 2018 | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expresses its utmost condolences to the family of Don Bustany, who passed away on April 23, 2018, in Santa Barbara, California. Donald S. Bustany, a pioneer in the Arab-American community and a longtime support of ADC, was born in Detroit, Michigan, on August 10, 1928. He is survived by his stepdaughter Kristen.
Throughout his life, Bustany exemplified professional excellence in radio and television broadcasting along with a courageous commitment to civic activism on behalf of the Arab-American community and the Palestinian people. Bustany served for four terms as president of the ADC chapter in Los Angeles and for many years was a member of ADC’s advisory committee.
Along with radio host Casey Kasem, Bustany co-created American Top 40 and American Country Countdown, which remain on the air nearly 50 years after their first broadcasts, a testament to Bustany’s vision. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Bustany was the camera coordinator and a director of The Bob Newhart Show and Mary Tyler Moore. He also served as the technical coordinator on several other television programs.
In 1996, Bustany became the host of the radio program Middle East in Focus in Los Angeles, which provides a platform to share stories and perspectives ignored in the mainstream media. As a result, Bustany was targeted in a campaign to cancel his show. He successfully fought back and remained the host of Middle East in Focus until 2014.
“Bustany was and will continue to be a role model in the Arab-American community. He spoke up when few others would and his activism helped found ADC, the nation’s largest Arab-American organization,” said ADC President Samer Khalaf. ADC mourns his loss and offers its deepest sympathies to the Bustany family.