Dean was born Arnold D'Angelo in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, and was raised by his Italian father in Connecticut. Upon attending Syracuse University, he began his career at WKRT in Cortland, New York, later moving onto WAGE in Syracuse. He then returned to his home state, joining WTIC in 1965. In 1976, Dean launched his own radio station, which would host celebrites and sports celebrities. He was in contact with Geno Auriemma, Artie Shaw, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, and Al Terzi throughout his career.
Dean died of natural causes at his home in Connecticut and is survived by his children Arnold Dean, Jr., Richard Dean, and Mary Rondini-Dean and his grandchildren Samantha, Anthony, Jenna, Nicole, and Nicholas.
- Naughton, Peter (December 10, 2012). Cortland native, talk radio pioneer Arnold D'Angelo (Dean) dies. CNYRadio.com. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
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- "Longtime Conn. sportscaster Arnold Dean dies at 82". Boston News. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Longtime sportscaster Arnold Dean dies at 82". The Day. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Arnold Dean, 82, launched one of nation’s first sports call-in radio shows". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Dean Of Sports Talk Dies; Arnold Dean Was Innovator At WTIC Radio". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Longtime Connecticut Sportscaster Arnold Dean Dies at 82". County Times. Retrieved 12 December 2012.