October 19, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Longtime U.S. broadcaster Hugh Downs useless at 99

Longtime U.S. broadcaster Hugh Downs dead at 99

Hugh Downs, whose congeniality and authoritative way permitted him to go concerning the earth of online games reveals and U.S. network information, has died at the age of 99.

Downs died of natural results in Wednesday evening at household in Scottsdale, Ariz., explained his wonderful-niece, Molly Shaheen.

The U.S. broadcaster hosted the recreation demonstrate Concentration and the ABC Information show 20/20 during a radio and television occupation of extra than 60 years.

His television function ranged from Right now, NBC’s early morning information exhibit, to Tonight, functioning with Jack Paar. In 1985, the Guinness Ebook of Globe Records said he experienced been on industrial tv a record 15,188 several hours — a mark that stood till Regis Philbin surpassed it in 2004.

About extra than six a long time as a broadcaster, Downs’ tv do the job ranged from Currently, NBC’s morning news display, to Tonight, with Jack Paar. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Photos)

“I assumed Television was a gimmick like 3D films and it would just go absent,” Downs, who experienced a pleasant, low-critical way on the air, claimed in an job interview with the Archive of American Tv.

“I had no plan that the tail would ultimately wag the canine and address me a great deal kinder than radio did.”

Downs’ broadcasting vocation commenced at age 18 when he auditioned for a radio announcer career on a whim in his hometown of Lima, Ohio.

Right after serving in the Army for the duration of the Second Globe War, he joined the NBC radio community in Chicago and that led to tv saying employment, which include operate on the Kukla, Fran and Ollie children’s show and a soap opera.

I assumed Tv set was a gimmick like 3D motion pictures and it would just go away … I had no concept that the tail would sooner or later wag the pet dog.– Hugh Downs

Larger television assignments lay forward in New York in the late 1950s: announcer on Sid Caesar’s Caesar’s Hour and announcer-sidekick to host Paar on The Tonight Demonstrate from 1957 right until 1962.

Downs experienced a co-starring job in 1 of television’s most extraordinary times of the 1960s when the emotional Paar walked off the phase all through taping in protest of NBC censoring just one of his jokes.

Downs, who experienced regarded that Paar was going to quit but did not assume a walkout, was referred to as on to fill in for the relaxation of the clearly show.

In 1958, Downs grew to become the host of Concentration, a new daytime NBC video game clearly show that examined contestants’ memory and means to clear up a image puzzle.

The show was a speedy success and Downs was host for 10 a long time, continuing with the position even soon after he grew to become an anchor on NBC’s Currently morning demonstrate in 1962.

In 1958, Downs grew to become the host of the game clearly show Concentration and ongoing as host for 10 decades, such as following becoming an anchor for Currently. (Hulton Archive/Getty Illustrations or photos)

Downs put in 11 decades on Currently, a lot of as co-anchor with Barbara Walters, and interviewed scores of superstars, politicians and other newsmakers. 

Multiple Emmy wins 

He joined ABC’s 20/20 in its second 7 days on the air in 1978 and was reunited with Walters, who turned his co-anchor.

He also contributed special experiences to the show, together with 1 on his double knee alternative operation and other folks on drugs and geriatrics, a area in which he experienced a lengthy-managing interest.

Every 7 days he signed off the clearly show by expressing, “We are in touch, so you be in contact,” just before leaving the clearly show and network tv in 1999.

In his afterwards several years, Downs was found on tv in an infomercial for a e book advertising and marketing well being insider secrets.

Downs gained Emmys for his get the job done on Nowadays in 1970, for web hosting PBS series on aging, In excess of Quick, in 1981 and Reside From Lincoln Middle in 1991.

Downs’ passions provided songs composition, aviation, astronomy and place exploration. He served as chairman of the National Place Society, a non-earnings corporation that promotes house exploration.

Amid the numerous books that he wrote ended up an autobiography, Yours Genuinely, Hugh Downs A Shoal of Stars, his account of sailing a 65-foot ketch across the Pacific and Thirty Soiled Lies About Old Age.

Downs was predeceased by his wife, Ruth. They had two little ones.

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