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Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was an Americanmarker radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks. He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays, as well as his famous The Rest of the Story segments. His listening audience was estimated, at its peak, at 24 million people a week. Harvey liked to say he was raised in radio newsrooms.

The most noticeable features of Harvey's idiosyncratic delivery were his dramatic pauses, quirky intonations and his folksiness. A large part of his success stemmed from the seamlessness with which he segued from his monologue into reading commercial messages. He explained his enthusiastic support of his sponsors: "I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is."

Career

Early years

The son of a policeman, Harvey made radio receivers as a young boy. He attended Tulsa Central High Schoolmarker where a teacher, Isabelle Ronan, was "impressed by his voice." On her recommendation, he started working at KVOOmarker in Tulsa in 1933, when he was 14. His first job was helping clean up. Eventually he was allowed to fill in on the air, reading commercials and the news.

While attending the University of Tulsamarker, he continued working at KVOO, first as an announcer, and later as a program director. Harvey spent three years as a station manager for KSALmarker, a local station in Salina, Kansasmarker. From there, he moved to a newscasting job at KOMA in Oklahoma Citymarker, and then to KXOK, in St. Louismarker, where he was Director of Special Events and a roving reporter.

Harvey then moved to Hawaiimarker to cover the United States Navy as it concentrated its fleet in the Pacific. He was returning to the mainland from assignment when the Japanesemarker attacked Pearl Harbormarker. He eventually enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces but served only from December 1943 to March 1944. His critics claimed he was given a psychiatric discharge for deliberately injuring himself in the heel. Harvey angrily denied the accusation, but was vague about details: "There was a little training accident...a minor cut on the obstacle course...I don't recall seeing anyone I knew who was a psychiatrist...I cannot tell you the exact wording on my discharge."

Move to Chicago

Harvey then moved to Chicagomarker, where in June 1944, he began broadcasting from the ABC affiliate WENR. He quickly became the most popular newscaster in Chicago. In 1945, he began hosting the postwar employment program Jobs for G.I. Joe on WENR. Harvey added The Rest of the Story as a tagline to in-depth feature stories in 1946. The spots became their own series in 1976. On April 1, 1951 the ABC Radio Network debuted Paul Harvey News and Comment "Commentary and analysis of Paul Harvey each weekday at 12 Noon". Paul Harvey was also heard originally on Sundays; the first Sunday program was Harvey's introduction. Later, the Sunday program would move to Saturdays. The program continued until his death.

From the late 1960s through the early 1980s, there was a televised, five-minute editorial by Paul Harvey that local stations could insert into their local news programs or show separately. On May 10, 1976, ABC Radio Networks premiered The Rest of the Story as a separate series which provided endless surprises as Harvey dug into stories behind the stories of famous events and people. Harvey's son, a concert pianist, created and produced the series. He was the show's only writer.

In 2000, Harvey signed a 10-year, $100M contract with ABC Radio Networks. A few months later, after damaging his vocal cords, he went off the air, but returned in August 2001.

Harvey's News and Comment was streamed on the World Wide Web twice a day. Paul Harvey News has been called the "largest one-man network in the world," as it was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations around the world and 300 newspapers. His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator.

Fill-in hosts

Former Senator Fred Thompson, known for his work on NBC's Law and Order, substituted for Harvey regularly from 2006 to 2007, prior to his unsuccessful run for President. Thompson left the network to run and did not return, instead joining Westwood One in January 2009. Other substitutes for Harvey have included his son, Paul Harvey, Jr., Doug Limerick, Paul W. Smith, Gil Gross, Ron Chapman, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mort Crim, Scott Shannon, and Tony Snow. After Huckabee's sub-hosting, ABC offered him a spin-off program, The Huckabee Report, which launched early in 2009. Gross (morning) and Limerick (afternoons) were named Harvey's eventual successors, but three weeks after Harvey's death, the entire News and Comment franchise was canceled.

Harvey did not host the show full-time after April 2008, when he came down with pneumonia. Shortly after his recovery, his wife died on May 3, causing him to prolong his time away from broadcasting. He voiced commercials, new episodes of The Rest of the Story and News & Comment during middays a few times a week, with his son handling mornings.

On-air persona, catch phrases, trademarks, and off-air interest

Harvey's on-air persona mirrored that of sportscaster Bill Stern. During the 1940s, the famed Stern's The Colgate Sports Reel and newsreel programs used many of the techniques later used by Harvey, including the style of delivery and the use of phrases such as Reel Two and Reel Three to denote segments of the broadcast - much like Harvey's Page Two and Page Three. The discovery of many of Stern's old programs on transcription discs have led many to believe that much of Harvey's broadcasting style is based on Stern's work, including most notably the Rest of the Story feature, which is a direct parallel to a technique used weekly by Stern. Stern introduced his version of the feature with a caveat that the stories might not be true; Harvey asserted his tales had been authenticated. However, at least one urban legend has been circulated with Harvey as the purported source, and Jan Brunvand, an expert on urban legends, wrote that Harvey "doesn't distinguish folklore from fact" and epitomizes the old saying, "The truth never stands in the way of a good story."

Harvey was also known for catch phrases he used at the beginning of his programs, such as "Hello Americans, I'm Paul Harvey. You know what the news is, in a minute, you're going to hear ... the rest of the story." He always ended, "Paul Harvey ... Good day." A story might be "This day's news of most lasting significance." At the end of a report about someone who had done something ridiculous or offensive, Harvey would say, "He would want us to mention his name," followed by silence, then would start the next item. The last item of a broadcast, which was often a funny story, would usually be preceded by "For what it's worth."

In addition to the inquiry into whether Harvey's Rest of the Story tales are true, Harvey's trademark ability to seamlessly migrate from content to commercial brought scrutiny. In that context, Salon magazine called him the "finest huckster ever to roam the airwaves." Some have argued that Harvey's fawning and lavish product endorsements may be misleading or confusing to his primary audience, senior citizens. Harvey's endorsed products include EdenPure heaters, Bose radios, and Select Comfort mattresses, some of which have been poorly received by consumers or derided as overpriced. In one of the tribute broadcasts, Gil Gross said Harvey considered advertising just another type of news, and he only endorsed products he believed in, often interviewing someone from the company.

Harvey was also an avid pilot. He had been an Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association member for more than 50 years, and would occasionally talk about flying to his radio audience. He also was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and was frequently seen at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. He was responsible for funding the Paul Harvey Audio-Video Center at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh. According to AOPA Pilot contributing editor Barry Schiff, Harvey coined the term “skyjack.” He is also credited with coining "Reaganomics" and "guesstimate."

His car of choice was the Cadillac. His Illinois license plates read PH. Chicago officially recognized his accomplishments by naming one of the streets near the Loop, "Paul Harvey Drive". He was a long time resident of River Forest, Illinoismarker, an affluent suburb about 12 miles west of Chicago.

Paul Harvey was a close friend of Reverend Billy Graham. From the mid 1970s until the mid 1980s, Harvey attended Calvary Memorial Church, in Oak Parkmarker. When the church moved from its original location on Madison Street to the former Presbyterian Church on Lake Street, Harvey asked his friend Graham to preach at the dedication service. According to some sources, Harvey was a convert to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, baptized into the church around the year 2000. Another source states that he never formally became an Adventist. In any event, he and his wife regularly attended the Camelback Adventist Church in Scottsdale, Arizona during his winters there. He often quoted Adventist pioneer Ellen G. White in his broadcasts and received the "Golden Microphone" Award for his professionalism and graciousness in dealing with the church.

Awards

Harvey was named Salesman of the Year, Commentator of the Year, Person of the Year, Father of the Year, and American of the Year. He was elected to the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and appeared on the Gallup poll list of America's most admired men. In addition he received 11 Freedom Foundation Awards as well as the Horatio Alger Award. Paul Harvey was named to the DeMolay Hall of Fame, a Masonic youth organization, on June 25, 1993.

In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United Statesmarker' most prestigious civilian award, by President George W. Bush.

On May 18, 2007, he received an honorary degree from Washington Universitymarker in St. Louismarker.

Family

Paul Harvey was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahomamarker, the son of Harry Harrison Aurandt (1873-1921) and Anna Dagmar (née Christensen) Aurandt (1883–1960). His father was born in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania; his mother was a native of Denmark. He had one sibling, an older sister Frances Harrietta (née Aurandt) Price (1908–1988).

In 1921, when Harvey was three years old, his father was murdered. He and a friend—a Tulsa police detective—were rabbit hunting while off-duty when approached by four armed men who attempted to rob them. Aurandt was shot and died two days later of his wounds. The four robbers were identified by the surviving detective, and arrested the day after Aurandt died. A lynch mob of 1,500 people formed at the jail, but all four were smuggled out, tried, convicted, and received life terms.

In 1940, Harvey married Lynne Cooper of St. Louismarker. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Washington University in St. Louismarker and a former schoolteacher. Harvey himself was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha at Culver-Stockton Collegemarker in Missouri. They met when Harvey was working at KXOK and Cooper came to the station for a school news program. Harvey invited her to dinner, proposed to her after a few minutes of conversation and from then on called her "Angel," even on his radio show. A year later she said yes. The couple moved to Chicago in 1945.

On May 17, 2007, Harvey told his radio audience that Angel had developed leukemia. Her death, at the age of 92, was announced by ABC radio on May 3, 2008. When she died at their River Forestmarker home, the Chicago Sun-Times described her as, "More than his astute business partner and producer, she also was a pioneer for women in radio and an influential figure in her own right for decades." According to the founder of the Museum of Broadcast Communicationsmarker, Bruce DuMont, "She was to Paul Harvey what Colonel Parker was to Elvis Presley. She really put him on track to have the phenomenal career that his career has been."

Lynne Harvey was the first producer ever inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, and had developed some of her husband's best-known features, such as "The Rest of the Story." While working on her husband's radio show, she established 10 p.m. as the hour in which news is broadcast. She was the first woman to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Chicago chapter of American Women in Radio and Television. She worked in television also, and created a television show called Dilemma which is acknowledged as the prototype of the modern talk show genre. While working at CBS, she was among the first women to produce an entire newscast. In later years, she was best known as a philanthropist.

They had one son, Paul Aurandt, Jr., who goes by the name Paul Harvey, Jr. He assisted his father at News and Comment and The Rest of the Story. Paul, Jr., whose voice announces the bumpers into and out of each News and Comment episode, filled in for his father during broadcasts and has been broadcasting the morning editions ever since the passing of his mother.

Death and tributes

Harvey died on February 28, 2009, at the age of 90 after being taken to a hospital in Phoenix, Arizonamarker. He died while surrounded by family and friends. His son, Paul Harvey Jr., said "millions have lost a friend" in response to his father's death. The cause was not immediately known.


Former President George W. Bush issued a statement on Harvey's death: "Laura and I are saddened by the death of Paul Harvey. Paul was a friendly and familiar voice in the lives of millions of Americans. His commentary entertained, enlightened, and informed. Laura and I are pleased to have known this fine man, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

A week of tribute broadcasts replaced the normal News and Comment and Rest of the Story broadcasts. For example, on March 3, instead of The Rest of the Story, Harvey's report of November 22, 1963marker aired. The next day, it was announced that Gil Gross would be the next host of News & Comment, and Doug Limerick the next host of The Rest of the Story.

In May 2009, Regnery Publishing issued a full-length biography of Harvey entitled Good Day! The Paul Harvey Story.

Books

  • Autumn of Liberty. Garden Citymarker, New Yorkmarker: Hanover House, 1954.
  • The Rest of the Story. Garden City, New York: Hanover House, 1956.
  • Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor. Wacomarker, Texasmarker: Word Books, 1975.
  • Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1977. ISBN 0-385-12768-5
  • More of Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story. New Yorkmarker: William Morrow, 1980, ISBN 0-688-03669-4
  • Destiny: From Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story. New York: William Morrow, 1983, ISBN 0-688-02205-7
  • Paul Harvey's For What It's Worth. New York: Bantam Books, 1991, ISBN 0-553-07720-1.


References

External links




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