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 Ed Sullivan

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Ed Sullivan

  • Original Name Edward Vincent Sullivan
  • Birth 28 Sep 1901 Harlem, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Death 13 Oct 1974 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Burial Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA
  • Plot Ferncliff Mausoleum, Unit 8, Alcove G, Crypt 122
  • Memorial ID 1001

Legendary television variety show host. Born on East 114th Street in a Jewish and Irish section of Harlem, New York, he had a twin brother, Daniel, who died as a child. It was after the death of Daniel and a sister, Elizabeth, that his father, Peter, decided to move the family to Port Chester, New York. He attended St. Mary's Catholic School and Port Chester High School where he won 12 letters in athletics. He ran away from home in 1917 to Chicago where he tried to enlist in the Navy but was rejected because of his age. After high school graduation, Sullivan worked for The Port Chester Daily Item - a newspaper he had written sports news for in high school. In 1919, he joined The Hartford Post, which folded in his first week there. He then landed a job at The New York Evening Mail, which closed in 1923. From 1923-1927 he wrote for 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 as a sports writer and quickly became sports editor. Two years later, when Walter Winchell moved to The New York Daily News, Sullivan became the paper's gossip columnist. During his career as a columnist, he produced vaudeville shows, which he was also master of ceremonies for, in the 1920s and 1930s. He also directed a radio program at WABC (which later became WCBS) and organized benefit shows for a variety of causes, which reached its peak during World War II. It was through emceeing that Sullivan entered the new world of television. In 1947, he was master of ceremonies for the Harvest Moon Ball, an annual event sponsored by The New York Daily News. The event was broadcast on TV and drew the attention of Worthington Miner, manager of television program and development at CBS, who was impressed with Sullivan's showmanship and hired him to be master of ceremonies for the TV show, "Toast of the Town." The show eventually became "The Ed Sullivan Show." The show, which Sullivan affectionately called a "rilly big shew" from the first broadcast, ran on CBS from June 1948 until 1971, when the station dropped the show in favor of movies. During the show's 23 year run, between 45 and 50 million people tuned in for a weekly cavalcade of live performances from the biggest music acts, performances from Broadway musicals (some of which are the only visual recordings of those shows), and an array of carnival performers. The show cost $8 million per year to produced for which Sullivan received $164,000 annually to host. In the early years, Sullivan even put up some of his own salary to pay the talent when CBS wouldn't. At one time, it cost $82,000 for one minute of advertising on his show. His show featured the American TV debuts of The Beatles, Humphrey Bogart, Jackie Gleason, Maria Callas, Elvis Presley and Rudolf Nureyev, among others. The Beatles' February 9, 1964, appearance remains one of the most watched shows in television history. Sullivan also introduced the Italian puppet mouse Topo Gigio to the world. The puppet's creator, Maria Perego Caldura of Milan, later secured a patent and the puppet went on to become a movie star. He was honored many times and in many ways - most notably on the December 10, 1967, broadcast when CBS renamed the studio he worked in "The Ed Sullivan Theater." David Letterman taped his late night show in that theater.

Bio by: Donna Di Giacomo


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1001
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ed Sullivan (28 Sep 1901–13 Oct 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1001, citing Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum, Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .