HUGH DOWNS Biography - Socialites, celebrities and People in the fashion industry


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Name: Hugh Downs                                                                     
Born: 14 February 1921                                                               
Hugh Malcolm Downs (born February 14, 1921) is a retired American broadcaster,       
television host, producer, and author. He served as anchor of 20/20, host of The     
Today Show, announcer for the Tonight Show with Jack Paar, host of Concentration     
game show, host of the PBS talk show Over Easy and co-host of the syndicated         
talk show Not for Women Only. He is currently the host of the National Report       
Series infomericals, and of two series of infomercials.                             
Hugh Downs was born in Akron, Ohio and educated at Lima Shawnee High School in       
Lima, Ohio, Bluffton College, a Mennonite school in Bluffton, Ohio, and Wayne       
State University in Detroit, Michigan during the period 1938 to 1941. He worked     
as a radio announcer and program director at WLOK in Lima, Ohio after his first     
year of college. In 1940 he moved on to WWJ in Detroit. Downs served briefly in     
the U.S. Army in 1943 and then joined the NBC radio network at WMAQ in Chicago       
as an announcer, where he lived until 1954. He married a coworker, Ruth Shaheen     
in 1944. He also attended Columbia University in New York City during 1955–56.     
Downs made his first television news broadcast in September 1945 from the still     
experimental studio of WBKB-TV (now WBBM-TV), a station then owned by the           
Balaban and Katz theater subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. He became a TV           
regular, announcing for Hawkins Falls in 1950, the first successful television       
soap opera, which was sponsored by Lever Brothers Surf detergent. He also           
announced the Burr Tillstrom children's show Kukla, Fran and Ollie from the NBC     
studios at Chicago's Merchandise Mart after the network picked up the program       
from WBKB. In March 1954, Downs moved to New York to accept a position as           
announcer for Pat Weaver's The Home Show starring Arlene Francis. That program       
lasted until August, 1957. He was the announcer for Sid Caesar's Caesar's Hour       
for the 1956–57 season. Downs became a bona fide television "personality" as       
Jack Paar's announcer on The Tonight Show from July 1957 until Paar's departure     
in March 1962, and then shared hosting until Johnny Carson took over in October     
1962. In August 1958, he concurrently began an eleven-year run hosting the           
original version of the game show Concentration. He hosted NBC's Today Show for     
nine years from September 1962 to October 1971. He co-hosted the syndicated         
television program Not for Women Only with Barbara Walters in 1975 and 1976.         
Downs earned a postgraduate degree in gerontology from Hunter College while he       
was hosting Over Easy, a PBS television program about aging that aired from 1977     
to 1983.                                                                             
He was probably best known as the Emmy Award-winning co-anchor (again paired         
with Walters) of the ABC news TV show 20/20, a primetime news magazine program,     
from the show's second episode in 1978 until his retirement in 1999. His closing     
tagline "We're in touch, so you be in touch", was written by Brock Brower.           
In 1985, he was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as holding the       
record for the greatest number of hours on network commercial television (15,188     
hours), though he lost the record for most hours on all forms of television to       
Regis Philbin in 2004.                                                               
A published composer himself, Downs hosted the PBS showcase for classical music,     
Live from Lincoln Center from 1990 to 1996.                                         
Downs can currently be seen in infomercials for The World's       
Greatest Treasury Of Health Secrets and another one for a personal coach.           
According to IMDB, he did an infomercial for Where There's a Will There's an A       
in 2003. Other Works for Hugh Downs                                                 
Downs is currently the host of the National Report Series infomercials.