Paul Harvey has died at the age of 90 in Arizona. Famous for his radio spots “The Rest of the Story,” Harvey began his career in 1951 for the ABC Radio Networks.
Harvey has been credited for the terms “skyjacker,” “Reaganomics” and “guesstimate,” words that changed the culture of news and commentary.
The Associated Press reports:
“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 will miss our dear friend tremendously and are grateful for the many years we were so fortunate to have known him.”
In 1990 Harvey was an inductee to the Radio Hall of Fame and was chosen as a recipient of the presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.
Rising at 3:30 a.m. each morning Harvey combed the news wires and spoke with editors across the country to prepare for his twice-daily news commentaries until his death other than a period in 2001. At that time a virus weakened his vocal cord, silencing one of the most famous voices on radio for a time.
In 1970 Harvey announced his opposition to President Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam War and urged him to get out completely.
“Mr. President, I love you … but you’re wrong,” Harvey said, shocking his faithful listeners and drawing a barrage of letters and phone calls, including one from the White House.
At the age of 82 he signed a new 10-year contract with ABC Radio Networks in 2000.
Harvey met his wife Lynne in St. Louis while working at KXOK. He reportedly asked her to marry him on their first date. They married in 1940 and had son Paul, Jr.
Lynne was Harvey’s producer. He always credited her for his success. She died in May 2008.
Harvey is survived by his son Paul Harvey, Jr. who said in a statement today:
“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 today millions have lost a friend.”