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Ed Sullivan (1901 - 1974)

A photo of Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan
1901 - 1974
Born
September 28, 1901
Death
October 13, 1974
Other Names
Edward Vincent Sullivan
Summary
Ed Sullivan was born on September 28, 1901. He died on October 13, 1974 at age 73.
4 Followers
Updated: October 30, 2019
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Edward Vincent Sullivan (September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974) was an American television personality, impresario,[2] sports and entertainment reporter, and syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate. He is principally remembered as the creator and host of the television variety program The Toast of the Town, later popularly—and, eventually, officially—renamed The Ed Sullivan Show. Broadcast for 23 years from 1948 to 1971, it set a record as the longest-running variety show in US broadcast history.[3] "It was, by almost any measure, the last great TV show," said television critic David Hinckley. "It's one of our fondest, dearest pop culture memories."[4] Sullivan was a broadcasting pioneer at many levels during television's infancy. As TV critic David Bianculli wrote, "Before MTV, Sullivan presented rock acts. Before Bravo, he presented jazz and classical music and theater. Before the Comedy Channel, even before there was the Tonight Show, Sullivan discovered, anointed and popularized young comedians. Before there were 500 channels, before there was cable, Ed Sullivan was where the choice was. From the start, he was indeed 'the Toast of the Town'."[5] In 1996, Sullivan was ranked number 50 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time". Early life and career Edward Vincent Sullivan was born on September 28, 1901 in Harlem, New York City, the son of Elizabeth F. (née Smith) and Peter Arthur Sullivan, a customs house employee, and grew up in Port Chester, New York.[7] He was of Irish descent.[8] The entire family loved music, and someone was always playing the piano or singing. A phonograph was a prized possession; the family loved playing all types of records on it. Sullivan was a gifted athlete in high school, earning 12 athletic letters at Port Chester High School. He played halfback in football; he was a guard in basketball; in track he was a sprinter. With the baseball team, Sullivan was catcher and team captain, and he led the team to several championships. Baseball made an impression on him that would affect his career as well as the culture of America. Sullivan noted that, in the state of New York, regarding high school sports, then integration was taken for granted: "When we went up into Connecticut, we ran into clubs that had Negro players. In those days this was accepted as commonplace; and so, my instinctive antagonism years later to any theory that a Negro wasn't a worthy opponent or was an inferior person. It was just as simple as that." Sullivan landed his first job at The Port Chester Daily Item, a local newspaper for which he had written sports news while in high school and then joined the paper full-time after graduation. In 1919, he joined The Hartford Post. The newspaper folded in his first week there, but he landed another job on The New York Evening Mail as a sports reporter. After The Evening Mail closed in 1923, he bounced through a series of news jobs with The Associated Press, The Philadelphia Bulletin, The Morning World, The Morning Telegraph, The New York Bulletin and The Leader. Finally, in 1927, Sullivan joined The Evening Graphic, first as a sports writer, and then as a sports editor. In 1929, when Walter Winchell moved to The Daily Mirror, Sullivan was made Broadway columnist. He left the Graphic for the city's largest tabloid, the New York Daily News. His column, "Little Old New York", concentrated on Broadway shows and gossip, as Winchell's had; and, like Winchell, he did show-business news broadcasts on radio. Again echoing Winchell, Sullivan took on yet another medium in 1933 by writing and starring in the film Mr. Broadway, which has him guiding the audience around New York nightspots to meet entertainers and celebrities. Sullivan soon became a powerful starmaker in the entertainment world himself, becoming one of Winchell's main rivals, setting the El Morocco nightclub in New York as his unofficial headquarters against Winchell's seat of power at the nearby Stork Club. Sullivan continued writing for The News throughout his broadcasting career, and his popularity long outlived Winchell's.[citation needed] Throughout his career as a columnist, Sullivan had dabbled in entertainment—producing vaudeville shows with which he appeared as master of ceremonies in the 1920s and 1930s, directing a radio program over the original WABC (now WCBS) and organizing benefit reviews for various causes. Radio In 1941, Sullivan was host of the Summer Silver Theater, a variety program on CBS, with Will Bradley as bandleader and a guest star featured each week. Television In 1948, Marlo Lewis, a producer, got the CBS network to hire Sullivan to do a weekly Sunday-night TV variety show, Toast of the Town, which later became The Ed Sullivan Show. Debuting in June 1948, the show was originally broadcast from the Maxine Elliott Theatre on West 39th Street in New York City. In January 1953, it moved to CBS-TV Studio 50, at 1697 Broadway (at 53rd Street) in New York City, which in 1967 was renamed the Ed Sullivan Theater (and was later the home of the Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert). Studio 50 was formerly a CBS Radio studio, from 1936 to 1953, and before that was the legitimate Hammerstein Theatre, built in 1927. Television critics gave the new show and its host poor reviews. Harriet Van Horne alleged that "he got where he is not by having a personality, but by having no personality." (The host wrote to the critic, "Dear Miss Van Horne: You b****. Sincerely, Ed Sullivan.") Sullivan had little acting ability; in 1967, 20 years after his show's debut, Time magazine asked, "What exactly is Ed Sullivan's talent?" His mannerisms on camera were so awkward that some viewers believed the host suffered from Bell's palsy. Time in 1955 stated that Sullivan resembled a cigar-store Indian, the Cardiff Giant and a stone-faced monument just off the boat from Easter Island. He moves like a sleepwalker; his smile is that of a man sucking a lemon; his speech is frequently lost in a thicket of syntax; his eyes pop from their sockets or sink so deep in their bags that they seem to be peering up at the camera from the bottom of twin wells. Carmen Miranda on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1953 The magazine concluded, however, that "Yet, instead of frightening children, Ed Sullivan charms the whole family." Sullivan appeared to the audience as an average guy who brought the great acts of show business to their home televisions. "Ed Sullivan will last", comedian Fred Allen said, "as long as someone else has talent", and frequent guest Alan King said, "Ed does nothing, but he does it better than anyone else in television."[13] He had a newspaperman's instinct for what the public wanted, and programmed his variety hours with remarkable balance. There was something for everyone. A typical show would feature a vaudeville act (acrobats, jugglers, magicians, etc.), one or two popular comedians, a singing star, a hot jukebox favorite, a figure from the legitimate theater, and for the kids, a visit with puppet "Topo Gigio, the little Italian mouse", or a popular athlete. The bill was often international in scope, with many European performers augmenting the American artists. Sullivan had a healthy sense of humor about himself and permitted—even encouraged—impersonators such as John Byner, Frank Gorshin, Rich Little, and especially Will Jordan to imitate him on his show. Johnny Carson also did a fair impression, and even Joan Rivers imitated Sullivan's unique posture. The impressionists exaggerated his stiffness, raised shoulders, and nasal tenor phrasing, along with some of his commonly used introductions, such as "And now, right here on our stage ...", "For all you youngsters out there ...", and "a really big shew" (his pronunciation of the word "show"). Will Jordan portrayed Sullivan in the films I Wanna Hold Your Hand, The Buddy Holly Story, The Doors, Mr. Saturday Night, Down with Love, and in the 1979 TV movie Elvis. Sullivan inspired a song in the musical Bye Bye Birdie,[14] and in 1963, appeared as himself in the film. In 1954, Sullivan was a co-host on a memorable TV musical special, General Foods 25th Anniversary Show: A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein.[15]
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Ed Sullivan
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Ed Sullivan passed away on October 13, 1974 at 73 years old. He was born on September 28, 1901. We have no information about Ed's family or relationships.
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Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Ed's lifetime.

In 1901, in the year that Ed Sullivan was born, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded. Chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel, who died in 1896, had provided in his will for prizes in physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine, who have produced the most distinguished literary work of an idealist tendency, and who have contributed the most toward world peace. The winners in 1901 were: Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen for physics, Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff for chemistry, Emil Adolf von Behring for physiology or medicine, Sully Prudhomme for literature, and Jean Henry Dunant and Frédéric Passy for peace.

In 1936, Ed was 35 years old when on November 2nd, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) debuted the world's first regular high-definition television service. The channel had a short schedule - Monday through Saturday, 3:00p to 4:00p and 9:00p to 10:00p. The first broadcast was "Opening of the BBC Television Service".

In 1957, when he was 56 years old, on October 4th, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first man made earth-orbiting satellite - and triggered the Space Race. Sputnik I was only 23 inches in diameter and had no tracking equipment, only 4 antennas, but it had a big impact.

In 1969, at the age of 68 years old, Ed was alive when one hundred countries, along with the United States and the Soviet Union signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT). It called for stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and the goal of nuclear disarmament.

In 1974, in the year of Ed Sullivan's passing, on February 5th, Patty Hearst, age 19 - granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst and daughter of publisher of the San Francisco Examiner Randolph Hearst - was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a left wing terrorist group. She was found, alive, 19 months later.

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