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Encyclopedia > Hugh Downs

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, and co-host of the PBS talk show Not for Women Only. is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw A news presenter is, broadly speaking, a person that presents a news show on television or radio. ... This article is about the television show. ... Today, commonly referred to as The Today Show to avoid ambiguity, is an American morning news and talk show airing weekday mornings on the NBC television network. ... The First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush and current host Jay Leno. ... Jack Parr redirects here. ... Concentration was a TV game show based on the childrens memory game of the same name. ... Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ...


Early life

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. Nickname: The Rubber Capital of the World Location within the state of Ohio Country United States State Ohio County Summit Founded 1825 Incorporated 1835 (village) - 1865 (city) Government  - Mayor Don Plusquellic (D) Area  - City  62. ... Location in the state of Ohio Country United States State Ohio County Allen Government  - Mayor David Berger (D) Area  - City 12. ... Bluffton University (Bluffton, Ohio) is a four-year educational institution affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. The university also offers the following graduate degrees: Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Organizational Management, and Master of Arts in Education. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Mennonites are a group of... Bluffton is a village in Allen and Hancock counties in Ohio with a population of 3,896 as of the 2000 U.S. census. ... Wayne State University (Detroit, MI 48202) is located in Detroit, Michigan, in the citys Midtown Cultural Center. ... “Detroit” redirects here. ... Location in the state of Ohio Country United States State Ohio County Allen Government  - Mayor David Berger (D) Area  - City 12. ... WWJ is the callsign of two broadcast stations in Detroit: radio station WWJ-AM (950 kHz) (Newsradio 950) TV station WWJ-TV (channel 62) (a CBS affiliate) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes - this motto was adopted after the disastrous 1805 fire that devastated the city) Nickname: The Motor City and Motown Location in Wayne County, Michigan Founded Incorporated July 24, 1701 1815  County Wayne County Mayor... The Army is the branch of the United States armed forces which has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ... NBC (an abbreviation for National Broadcasting Company, its former corporate name) is an American television network based in New York Citys Rockefeller Center and is shown on basic cable in Canada. ... WMAQ is a callsign shared by three broadcast stations traditionally associated with NBC in Chicago: WMAQ (AM), 670 kHz: a pioneer broadcaster from 1922 to 2000 and a major part of Chicago and NBC radio history. ... Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... Columbia University is a private research university in the United States and a member of the prestigious Ivy League. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ...

Television career

Hugh Downs interviewing Timothy Leary on an October 1967 NBC News report.

Downs made his first television news broadcast in September 1945 from the still experimental studio of WBKB-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. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... For the American baseball player use Tim Leary (baseball player) Timothy Francis Leary, (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American writer, psychologist, modern pioneer and advocate of psychedelic drug research and use, and one of the first people whose remains have been sent into space. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... NBC News endcap, used from 2002 to present. ... WBKB-TV Channel 11 in Alpena is the CBS affiliate for the northeastern portion of Michigans Lower Peninsula. ... Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. ... Hawkins Falls was the first successful television soap opera. ... For Philippine soap opera, see Teleserye. ... The British manufacturer Lever Brothers was founded in 1885 by William Hesketh Lever (later Lord Leverhulme) and his brother James. ... Burr Tilstrom (October 13, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois - December 6, 1985 in Palm Springs, California) was a puppeteer and the creator of Kukla, Fran and Ollie. ... Kukla, Fran and Ollie was an early television show using puppets, originally created for children but soon watched by more adults than children. ... The Chicago Merchandise Mart North side of the Merchandise Mart Behind the Merchandise Mart A display inside the Merchandise Mart The Merchandise Mart is one of the largest commercial buildings in the world, located in Chicago, Illinois. ... Sylvester Pat Weaver (December 21, 1908 - March 17, 2002) was the father of actress Sigourney Weaver. ... Arlene Francis (born Arline Francis Kazanjian October 20, 1907 - May 31, 2001) was an American actress, radio talk show host and game show panelist of Armenian and Greek descent. ... Sid Caesar (born September 8, 1922) is an Emmy-winning American comic actor and writer, best known as the leading man on the 1950s television series Your Show of Shows, and to younger generations as Coach Calhoun in Grease and Grease 2. ... Jack Parr redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other persons named John Carson, see John Carson (disambiguation). ... Concentration was a TV game show based on the childrens memory game of the same name. ... The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... Today, commonly referred to as The Today Show to avoid ambiguity, is an American morning news and talk show airing weekday mornings on the NBC television network. ... This biographical article needs additional references for verification. ...

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. It has been suggested that aging research be merged into this article or section. ... See also: Hunter College High School Hunter College of The City University of New York (known more commonly as simply Hunter College) is a senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY), located on Manhattans Upper East Side. ... Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ...

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 1978 until his retirement in 1999. His closing tagline "We're in touch, so you be in touch", was written by Brock Brower. An Emmy Award. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... “TV” redirects here. ... This article is about the television show. ... This article is about the year. ...

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. Year 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar). ... The Guinness Book of Records (or in recent editions Guinness World Records, and in previous US editions Guinness Book of World Records) is a book published annually, containing an internationally recognized collection of superlatives: both in terms of human achievement and the extrema of the natural world. ... Regis Francis Xavier Philbin (born August 25, 1931) is an Emmy Award-winning American television personality best known for his roles as a talk show host, game show host, singer and presenter at various events. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

A published composer himself, Downs hosted the PBS showcase for classical music, Live from Lincoln Center from 1990 to 1996. Live from Lincoln Center is an ongoing television concert series on PBS. It premiered in 1976 and is still running, although it is not a daily, weekly, or even monthly program. ...

Downs can currently be seen in infomercials for healthsecrets.com 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 for Public Television.

Film appearances

  • Survival of Spaceship Earth (1972) interviewed along with Rene Dubos, Margaret Mead, and John D. Rockefeller, III in a documentary on the Earth's environmental crisis
  • Nothing by Chance (1975) executive producer and narrator – a documentary about the biplanes that barnstormed across America during the 1920s
  • Oh, God! Book II (1980) newscaster

Dr. René Jules Dubos (February 20, 1901 - 1982) was a French born American microbiologist, pathologist, environmentalist and Pulitizer Prize winning author. ... Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901, Philadelphia – November 15, 1978, New York City) was an American cultural anthropologist. ... It has been suggested that William Whitney Rockefeller be merged into this article or section. ... Hs123 biplane. ... Barnstorming was a popular form of entertainment in the 1920s in which stunt pilots would perform tricks with airplanes, often in groups as a flying circus. ... Oh, God! Book II is a 1980 comedy film which is a sequel to the 1977 film, Oh God!. It stars George Burns, Suzanne Pleshette, David Birney and Louanne. ...

Public service

Downs was a special consultant to the United Nations for refugee problems from 1961-64 and served as Chairman of the Board of the United States Committee for UNICEF. The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ... UNICEF Logo The United Nations Childrens Fund or UNICEF (Arabic: ; French: ; Spanish: ) was established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946. ...

Always interested in science and space, Downs wrote a column for Science Digest during the 1960s. He was Science Consultant to Westinghouse Laboratories and the Ford Foundation and an elected member of the National Academy of Science. He is a Board of Governors member of the National Space Society and was a longtime president and chairman of the predecessor National Space Institute. The asteroid 71000 Hughdowns is named after him. Science Digest was a monthly American magazine published by the Hearst Corporation from 1937 through 1986. ... The Ford Foundation is a charitable foundation based in New York City created to fund programs that promote democracy, reduce poverty, promote international understanding, and advance human achievement. ... President Harding and the National Academy of Sciences at the White House, Washington, DC, April 1921 The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine. ... National Space Society logo The National Space Society (NSS) is an international nonprofit 501(c)(3), educational, and scientific organization specializing in space advocacy. ... The National Space Institute was a space advocacy group established by Wernher von Braun in 1974. ... 253 Mathilde, a C-type asteroid. ... The asteroid 71000 Hughdowns is an asteroid named after American television host, Hugh Downs, popular for his co-hosting career on the news show 20/20. ...

The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University is named in his honor. The ASU Seal The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, Main Campus, offers a Masters degree in Communication and an Interdisciplinary Ph. ... Arizona State University (ASU) is a public research institution of higher education and research with campuses located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. ...


  • Downs made a 2001 cameo appearance on the television cartoon series Family Guy in the episode "The Kiss Seen Around the World, at the end of this appearance, he quotes "Hugh Downs Away", a play on his name and the quote "Superheroes Away". He has also provided his voice for a Family Guy commercial on adult swim in 2006.
  • Downs and his wife have two children.
  • He is an avid sailor and airplane pilot. He loves to fly gliders and do aerobatic maneuvers.
  • He is colorblind.
  • Downs appeared as a panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth.
  • He is not related to Bill Downs, the well-known CBS radio broadcaster of the 1940s.
  • The auditorium of Shawnee High School in Lima, Ohio is named after him.
  • According to the liner notes for the Dr. Demento 30th Anniversary Collection audio CD set, Joel Whitburn says Downs is the voice of the title character in the song Little Blue Man, recorded by Betty Johnson in 1958. According to Johnson's web site, the voice is really done by songwriter Fred Ebb.
  • He is the former host of syndicated radio show "When Radio Was" that featured shows from the golden age of radio. The show was taken over by Stan Freeburg.

Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Peter Jackson in The Fellowship of the Ring (top), The Two Towers (middle) and The Return of the King (bottom). ... Family Guy is an Emmy award winning American animated television series about a nuclear family in the fictional town of Quahog (IPA or ), Rhode Island. ... “The Kiss Seen Around the World” is an episode from the third season of the FOX animated television series Family Guy. ... Adult Swim, sometimes rendered [adult swim] based on its logo, is the name for an adult-oriented television programming network. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Color blindness in humans is the inability to perceive differences between some or all colors that other people can distinguish. ... “Quiz show” redirects here. ... Nipsey Russell, Peggy Cass, Bill Cullen and Kitty Carlisle from the 1969-78 version. ... William Randall Bill Downs (Aug. ... Shawnee High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States as part of the Lenape Regional High School District. ... Location in the state of Ohio Country United States State Ohio County Allen Government  - Mayor David Berger (D) Area  - City 12. ... Dr. Demento (born April 2, 1941 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is the stage name of Barret Eugene Hansen [1], who has made a successful career as a radio disc jockey specializing in novelty songs and pop music parodies. ... Joel Carver Whitburn (born November 29, 1939 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) is an American author and music historian. ... Betty Johnson (born March 16, 1931) was a singer of traditional pop music. ... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fred Ebb (April 8, 1933 - September 11, 2004) was a musical theatre lyricist. ...


  • Yours Truly... 1960, Holt, Rinehart and Winston (no ISBN); autobiography
  • A Shoal of Stars: A True-Life Account of Everyman's Dream: Sailing Across the Pacific to Exotic Lands, 1967, Doubleday, (no ISBN)
  • Rings Around Tomorrow, 1970, Doubleday, (no ISBN), an anthology of Down's science articles
  • Potential: The Way to Emotional Maturity, 1973, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-03742-2
  • Thirty Dirty Lies About Old Age, 1979, Argus, ISBN 0-89505-033-1
  • The Best Years: How to Plan for Fulfillment, Security, and Happiness in the Retirement Years, 1981, Delacorte Press hardcover, ISBN 0-385-28076-9
    • The Best Years Book, 1982, Dell Publishing paperback, ISBN 0-440-53901-3
  • On Camera: My 10,000 Hours on Television, 1986, Putnam: ISBN 0-399-13203-1, Thorndike Press large print: ISBN 0-89621-788-4
  • Fifty to Forever, 1994, Thomas Nelson Inc, ISBN 0-8407-7786-8, a collection of essays
  • Perspectives, 1995, Turner Publications, ISBN 1-57036-219-X, 50 selections from his ten-minute radio essays
  • Greater Phoenix: The Desert in Bloom, 1999, Towery Publications, ISBN 1-881096-69-6
  • Pure Gold: A Lifetime of Love and Marriage, 2001, Arizona State University Press, ISBN 0-9717160-0-5
  • My America: What My Country Means to Me, by 150 Americans from All Walks of Life, (editor), 2002, Scribner, ISBN 0-7432-3369-7, large print: ISBN 0-7432-4089-8
  • Letter to a Great Grandson: A Message of Love, Advice, and Hopes for the Future, 2004, Scribner, ISBN 0-7432-4723-X

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Hugh Downs
Preceded by
Gene Rayburn
The Tonight Show announcer
Succeeded by
Ed McMahon
Preceded by
John Chancellor
Today Show Host with Barbara Walters
Succeeded by
Frank McGee
Preceded by
Harold Hayes and Robert Hughes

(premier episode only)
20/20 Anchor
himself June 13, 19781984,
with Barbara Walters, 19841999

Succeeded by
Barbara Walters

  Results from FactBites:
20/20: Hugh Downs on WCHS-TV8 (1213 words)
Hugh Downs, one of the most familiar American television figures in the history of the medium, was the co-anchor of ABC News' 20/20, the prime-time weekly newsmagazine program.
Downs was the recipient of the Carr Van Anda Award for "enduring contribution to journalism" from the Ohio University School of Journalism and received the Emerson College Joseph E. Connor Award.
Downs is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, Chairman of the Board of the United States Committee for UNICEF, Trustee of the Menninger Foundation, and has served as a member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Advisory Council.
Corporate Speakers - Speaker Hugh Downs (1317 words)
Hugh Downs, one of the most familiar American television figures in the history of the medium, is the co-anchor of ABCNEWS’ 20/20, the primetime newsmagazine program.
Downs has lectured throughout the country on a wide range of subjects, including the quality of life, energy, the role of the communicator in environmental concerns, the exploration of space and aging in America.
Downs’ most recent book is Perspectives, a wide-ranging collection of more than 50 of his most interesting, informative and entertaining essays, adapted from his ten-minute radio broadcasts of the same name on the ABC Radio Network.
  More results at FactBites »



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