Radio Broadcasting Pioneer Paul Harvey Dies at 90
Paul Harvey, the distinctly voiced news commentator whose radio career spanned nearly 60 years, died on Saturday in Arizona, a spokesman for ABC Radio Networks tells the Associated Press. He was 90.
A cause of death was not immediately available. Harvey's passing comes less than a year after that of his wife and longtime producer, Lynne.
"My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news," Paul Harvey Jr. said in a statement. "So in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents and ... millions have lost a friend."
Known for his staccato voice and trademark delivery of "The Rest of the Story" (a feature through which he anecdotally recalled the lives of famous folk), Harvey's career as a nationally broadcast radio man begin 1951, when he launched his "News and Comment" program on ABC Radio Networks.
In 1970, Harvey famously reversed his stance on the Vietnam War, broadcasting this message to Richard M. Nixon: "Mr. President, I love you ... but you're wrong [to expand the war]." Harvey's urging of the president to pull out of Vietnam elicited an onslaught of letters and phone calls, including one from the White House.
At the peak of his career, Harvey reached more than 24 million listeners on more than 1,200 radio stations, and his syndicated column was carried by 300 newspapers. In 2000, he signed a new 10-year contract with ABC Radio Networks. He was forced off the airwaves briefly in 2001 by a virally weakened vocal cord.
"Paul Harvey was one of the most gifted and beloved broadcasters in our nation's history," ABC Radio Networks President Jim Robinson said in a statement. "[We] were so fortunate to have known him."
Among many accolades, Harvey received the presidential Medal of Freedom and was an inductee in the Radio Hall of Fame.
And now, we sadly know the rest of Tulsa, Oklahoma-born Paul Harvey Aurandt's story. Good day, sir.