Legendary Broadcaster and Game Show Host Dies

Wikimedia Commons, by NBC Television

Legendary Broadcaster Hugh Downs has died, according to CBS 5 in Arizona.

His family said in a statement that he was surrounded by his loved ones as he died in his Arizona home on Wednesday.

Downs was 99. His cause of death according to the Washington Post was a heart ailment.

His 60-plus year career included stints with NBC’s “Today Show”,  the game show “Concentration”, and on ABC’s long-running prime time hit “20/20” along with Barbara Walters.

Mr. Downs was born in 1921 in Akron, OH and began his career on the radio at WLOK in Lima, OH in 1940 before moving to WWJ in Detroit. In 1943, He went onto serve in the United States Army during World War II.

He emerged on the television scene in 1945 on a Chicago station and never looked back.

Downs eventually won an Emmy award for his work in 1981 and again in 1991.

His long-running career placed him in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1985 for holding the record for the most hours on network television before being overtaken by Regis Philbin in 2005.

Downs retired in 1999  at the age of 78. In 2007, Downs became one of the earliest inductees into the American TV Game Show Hall of Fame.

He was predeceased by his wife Ruth Shaheen Downs who died at the age of 95 in 2017. The couple had one daughter (Deirdre), a son (H.R.), two grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

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2 years ago

One the nicest and honest broadcasters to live. I wish we had more like him now instead of political hacks.

Clinton J Nierlich
Clinton J Nierlich
2 years ago

Hugh Downs was one Television Broadcaster that would never have a bad word said about him from the left or the right. Wish we could stamp out about a dozen or so of him. We would definitely have a better type of broadcaster then what we have now. Rest in peace Mr. Downs.

2 years ago

As a very politically “conservative” person, I always had respect for him.

1 year ago
Reply to  Combo

I liked his style of broadcasting.
Seemed like a lovely man.
A gentleman, sadly a rarity today in the news world


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