Hugh Downs

Hugh Downs
Hugh Downs 1972.JPG
Hugh Downs in 1972
Hugh Malcolm Downs

(1921-02-14)February 14, 1921
DiedJuly 1, 2020(2020-07-01) (aged 99)
  • Television broadcaster
  • television host
  • television producer
  • author
  • game show presenter
  • music composer
  • radio announcer
  • radio programmer
Years active1939–2007
Ruth Shaheen
(m. 1944; died 2017)

Hugh Malcolm Downs (February 14, 1921 – July 1, 2020) was an American radio and television broadcaster, announcer and programmer; television host; news anchor; TV producer; author; game show host; and music composer. A regular television presence from the mid 1940s until the late 1990s, he had several successful roles on morning, prime-time, and late-night television. For several years he held the certified Guinness World Record for the most hours on commercial network television before being surpassed by Regis Philbin.[1]

Downs served as announcer and sidekick for Tonight Starring Jack Paar from 1957 to 1962,[2][3] co-host of the NBC News program Today from 1962 to 1971,[4] host of the Concentration game show from 1958 to 1969,[5][6] and anchor of the ABC News magazine 20/20 from 1978 to 1999.[7]

Downs started his career in radio in 1939 and began in live television in 1945 in Chicago, where he became a regular on several nationally broadcast programs over the next decade. He moved to New York City in 1954, when he was invited to do a program there. Among other shows during his career, he hosted the PBS talk show Over Easy[8] and was the occasional co-host of the syndicated talk show Not for Women Only.[9]

  1. ^ "Hugh Downs, Perennial Small-Screen Fixture, Is Dead at 99".
  2. ^ "A Matchless Library Television Archive: 1946–1982". Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  3. ^ "A Matchless Library Television Archive: 1946–1982". Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  4. ^ Mink, Eric; Dolphin, Laurie; Brown, Christian (2003). Dolphin, Laurie; Brown, Christian (eds.). This is Today: A Window On Our Times. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. xiii. ISBN 0740738534.
  5. ^ "Concentration". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  6. ^ Ryan, Steve (1991). Classic Concentration: The Game, the Show, the Puzzles. Sterling Publishing Company. p. 13. ISBN 978-0806984681. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  7. ^ Lisa de Moraes (May 6, 1999). "Host Hugh Downs To Leave '20/20'". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  8. ^ Reed, Robert M.; Reed, Maxine K. (1992). The Encyclopedia of Television, Cable, and Video. Springer US. p. 174. doi:10.1007/978-1-4684-6521-1. ISBN 978-1-4684-6523-5.
  9. ^ Erler, Robert J.; Timberg, Bernard M. (2010). Television Talk: A History of the TV Talk Show. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0292781764. OCLC 355281797.