Bell was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, on June 17, 1945. He served in the the US Air Force as a medic during the Vietnam War.
No theory was too outlandish for the Coast To Coast AM show that Bell produced, running the gamut from UFOs to reports of strange creatures and stranger organizations. The all-night broadcast kept many a traveler company in the wee, small hours. Bell produced and ran the technical board for the show and had a strong bond with his listeners.
Part of his appeal was his nationwide reach. He joined the 50,000 watt clear channel KDWN in Las Vegas, reaching 13 western states. He later segued to Chancellor Broadcasting Company, and then transitioned to the Premiere Radio Networks.
Coast To Coast AM continued after Bell’s final retirement from it in 2010, with George Noory and George Knapp splitting hosting duties. Bell returned to radio in 2015 with a new show called Midnight in the Desert, available online and on a few stations. He announced what would be his final retirement on Dec. 11, 2015, citing unspecified security concerns at his home, a statement which fueled massive speculation among his followers.
Bell made several appearances in films and television, essentially playing himself. He was in the tv series Dark Skies (2007) and many documentaries, providing commentary on aliens, the Illuminati, and UFOs, among other topics.
There was no information immediately available on survivors or any memorial plans.