Hugh Downs, whose congeniality and authoritative method allowed him to maneuver between the world of video games reveals and U.S. community information, has died at the age of 99.
Downs died of pure causes Wednesday evening at dwelling in Scottsdale, Ariz., stated his great-niece, Molly Shaheen.
The U.S. broadcaster hosted the sport present Concentration and the ABC News present 20/20 throughout a radio and tv profession of greater than 60 years.
His tv work ranged from Today, NBC’s morning information present, to Tonight, working with Jack Paar. In 1985, the Guinness Book of World Records stated he had been on industrial tv a file 15,188 hours — a mark that stood till Regis Philbin surpassed it in 2004.
“I believed TV was a gimmick like 3D films and it might simply go away,” Downs, who had a pleasant, low-key method on the air, stated in an interview with the Archive of American Television.
“I had no concept that the tail would ultimately wag the canine and deal with me a lot kinder than radio did.”
Downs’ broadcasting profession started at age 18 when he auditioned for a radio announcer job on a whim in his hometown of Lima, Ohio.
After serving within the Army throughout the Second World War, he joined the NBC radio community in Chicago and that led to tv saying jobs, together with work on the Kukla, Fran and Ollie youngsters’s present and a cleaning soap opera.
I believed TV was a gimmick like 3D films and it might simply go away … I had no concept that the tail would ultimately wag the canine.– Hugh Downs
Bigger tv assignments lay forward in New York within the late 1950s: announcer on Sid Caesar’s Caesar’s Hour and announcer-sidekick to host Paar on The Tonight Show from 1957 till 1962.
Downs had a co-starring function in considered one of tv’s most dramatic moments of the 1960s when the emotional Paar walked off the stage throughout taping in protest of NBC censoring considered one of his jokes.
Downs, who had recognized that Paar was going to stop however didn’t count on a walkout, was referred to as upon to fill in for the remainder of the present.
In 1958, Downs turned the host of Concentration, a brand new daytime NBC recreation present that examined contestants’ reminiscence and talent to resolve an image puzzle.
The present was a fast success and Downs was host for 10 years, persevering with with the job even after he turned an anchor on NBC’s Today morning present in 1962.
Downs spent 11 years on Today, many as co-anchor with Barbara Walters, and interviewed scores of celebrities, politicians and different newsmakers.
Multiple Emmy wins
He joined ABC’s 20/20 in its second week on the air in 1978 and was reunited with Walters, who turned his co-anchor.
He additionally contributed particular studies to the present, together with one on his double knee alternative surgical procedure and others on drugs and geriatrics, a subject by which he had a long-running curiosity.
Each week he signed off the present by saying, “We’re in contact, so that you be in contact,” earlier than leaving the present and community tv in 1999.
In his later years, Downs was seen on tv in an infomercial for a e-book selling well being secrets and techniques.
He retired from “20/20” in 1999 and died at age 99 within the 12 months 2020. Sweet symmetry. Rest simple, Hugh Downs. One of the very best. <a href=”https://t.co/g4WvKSssCt”>https://t.co/g4WvKSssCt</a>
<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/HughDowns?src=hash&ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>#HughDowns</a> expensive pal & longtime colleague at <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/abc2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>#abc2020</a> has handed at age 99. A real gentleman adventurer, we raced my sailboat & soared in his glider. Along together with his late spouse Ruth, he bridged generations together with his erudite, compassionate, good broadcasts. An amazing American RIP
Downs received Emmys for his work on Today in 1970, for internet hosting PBS sequence on getting older, Over Easy, in 1981 and Live From Lincoln Center in 1991.
Downs’ pursuits included music composition, aviation, astronomy and house exploration. He served as chairman of the National Space Society, a non-profit group that promotes house exploration.
Among the a number of books that he wrote had been an autobiography, Yours Truly, Hugh Downs; A Shoal of Stars, his account of crusing a 65-foot ketch throughout the Pacific; and Thirty Dirty Lies About Old Age.
Downs was predeceased by his spouse, Ruth. They had two youngsters.