He wasn't someone you'd know growing up in the US, but evidently he was a very famous and admired person in the UK?
From the article: Rapes, Abuse, possible Necrophilia: DJ Jimmy Savile's hospital horrors detailed
"As a nation at that time we held Savile in our affection as a somewhat eccentric national treasure with a strong commitment to charitable causes," Hunt said. "Today's reports show that in reality he was a sickening and prolific sexual abuser who repeatedly exploited the trust of a nation for his own vile purposes."
Jimmy Savile report highlights hospital rapes, abuse - CNN.com