Legendary New York DJ Dave Herman has died while being held in jail on pedophile charges at the age of 78.

Dave Herman (YouTube)

Herman's lawyer, Mark Agnifilo, tells 7 ABC that the 78-year-old died from an aneurysm of a major blood vessel near the heart at the Essex County Jail in Newark.

"He was talkative, he was engaged, he was vibrant. Its hard for a 78 year old to be in jail,"  Agnifilo told the station. "Its tragic that it had to end this way."

New Jersey 101.5 personality Don Tandler said Herman was an important person in the growth of Progressive Radio "which evolved into the Album Rock format. "Several generations grew up with him," Tandler said.  Host Steve Trevelise said Herman's death was "shocking like the whole Dave Hermann story."

Herman was charged in a sting operation with trying to transport a 7-year-old girl to the U.S. Virgin Islands for sex last October.  He initiated a series of chats  on a website with a woman named “Kris” about her daughter “Lexi” but was actually talking to an undercover officer from Bergen County according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

After several discussions about meeting in New Jersey or at his office in New York City, Herman bought airline tickets for “Kris”and “Lexi” to travel from LaGuardia Airport to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands on Oct. 24. Herman went to meet the pair at the airport carrying a teddy bear for “Lexi” but was instead met by agents  from the departments of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Herman was the first on-air personality at Philadelphia’s WMMR when the station changed format to rock in 1968 after winning a contest in Asbury Park to win the honor. He then moved onto the former WABC FM before landing at WNEW where he worked in mornings and nights until 1998. He later got involved with a disagreement with CBS over compensation. He also attempted to start an internet radio station.