Paul Harvey, who captivated millions of radio listeners daily with his famous voice and the line “and that’s…the rest of the story” died today at the age of 90
He was a true legend in the business and he will be missed.
From ABC News:
Paul Harvey, once known as the most listened to man in radio, has died at the age of 90 at a hospital near his winter home in Phoenix.
Harvey’s career in radio spanned more than 70 years, and his shows “News & Comment” and “Rest of the Story” made him a familiar voice in Americans’ homes across the country.
His death comes nine months after that of his wife, Lynne Cooper Harvey, whom he often called “Angel” on air, and who was also his business partner and the first producer ever inducted in the the Radio Hall of Fame.
“My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news,” Paul Harvey Jr. said. “So, in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents. And, today millions have lost a friend.”
From his humble beginnings as a teenager helping out cleaning up at a local radio station, Harvey went on to have his broadcasts carried by 1,350 commercial radio stations, as well as 400 stations of the Armed Forces Radio Service, and was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.
Harvey died at a hospital near his winter home in Phoenix, the network said. No cause of death was immediately available.
He was on the air for more than 60 years, becoming a fixture across the United States in 1951 when he joined ABC Radio.
Working out of Chicago, Harvey started his show each day by barking, “Hello, Americans, this is Paul Harvey! Stand by for news!” and would sign off with a forceful “Paul Harvey … good day!” In between, he flung out a variety of trademark phrases that listeners came to expect like, “Stay tuned for the rest of the story” and “May I have your undivided for just a moment.”
Harvey’s twice-daily radio broadcasts at one time reached an estimated 22 million listeners who tuned in for his observations, homespun wisdom and opinions on the news.
“I don’t think of myself as a profound journalist,” he told an interviewer. “I think of myself as a professional parade watcher who can’t wait to get out of bed every morning and rush down to the teletypes and pan for gold.”
Harvey also was a marketing powerhouse, interspersing his broadcasts with commercials he narrated. He said he agreed to plug only products he used himself, which meant turning down 10 sponsors for every one he endorsed.
Products that met Harvey’s expectations could almost always count on a surge in sales after he read their commercials.
In 2006, Forbes.com quoted an ABC executive as saying Harvey was bringing in more than 10 percent of the network’s $300 million in advertising billings. The network was so pleased with Harvey’s work that he was given a 10-year, $100 million contract in 2000.