|Birth Day:||June 13, 1913|
|Death Date:||Nov 16, 2005 (age 92)|
|Birth Place:||Meirno, United States|
As per our current Database, Ralph Edwards died on Nov 16, 2005 (age 92).
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He earned his degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley.
Born in Merino, Colorado, Edwards worked for KROW Radio in Oakland, California while he was still in high school. After graduating from high school in 1931, he worked his way through college at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.A. in English in 1935. While there, he worked at every job from janitor to producer at Oakland's KTAB, now KSFO. Failing to get a job as a high school teacher, he worked at KFRC and then hitchhiked across the country to New York City, where, he said, "I ate ten-cent (equivalent to $2 in 2019), meals and slept on park benches".
After some part-time announcing jobs, he got his big break in 1938 with a full-time job for the Columbia Broadcasting System on the original WABC (now WCBS), where he worked with two other young announcers who would become broadcasting fixtures - Mel Allen and Andre Baruch.
Truth or Consequences started out as a radio game show that premiered on NBC Radio in March 1940, and aired for 38 years on radio and television. After a preposterously difficult trivia question was asked, and Beulah the Buzzer went off when contestants inevitably failed to answer, they were asked to perform often ridiculous stunts for prizes of cash or merchandise. From the start contestants preferred to miss the question, with Edwards commenting "Most of the American people are darned good sports."
After years of experimental broadcasts, the Federal Communications Commission approved commercial television broadcasts starting on July 1, 1941, and NBC's New York station WNBT (now WNBC) was the first to make the changeover, with Edwards hosting a one-time episode of the show over WNBT to commemorate the first day of commercial telecasting.
The show was originally based in New York, with Mel Allen as announcer, but later moved to Los Angeles. After the U.S. entered World War II in late 1941, causing early television broadcasts to be cut back dramatically, its radio run started on CBS (home network to both Edwards and Allen), then moved to NBC.
In 1948 Edwards created, produced, and hosted This Is Your Life on NBC Radio, moving to NBC-TV in 1952-1961. Each week Edwards would surprise some unsuspecting person (usually a celebrity, sometimes an ordinary citizen) and review the subject's personal and professional life in front of the TV audience, often introducing figures from their past as live guests. The show drew great interest from viewers, partly because the identity of the subject wasn't revealed until the show went live. Throughout the half-hour Edwards would guide the narrative of the show, ushering visitors on and off stage, and eventually prompting the honoree to recall a personal turning point. Edwards was showman enough to draw upon his Truth or Consequences experience, emphasizing the sentimental elements that appealed to viewers and listeners at home. His on-air tributes would often recount some heroic sacrifice or tragic event, bringing the audience (and sometimes the subject) to the point of tears. Celebrity subjects included Marilyn Monroe, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Bob Hope, Andy Griffith, Buster Keaton, Barbara Eden, Bette Davis, Shirley Jones, Jayne Mansfield, Johnny Cash, and Carol Channing. In a comic-book story published in the DC Comics "Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane" (#9, May 1959), Ralph Edwards surprised Lois when she was the subject of This Is Your Life.
Occasionally the show played for sentiment, as contestants were surprised on stage by a sweetheart in the military, a family member, or a long-lost friend. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico was named after the show following Edwards' promise to broadcast the show from the first city that renamed itself. The city in southern New Mexico features several public parks and facilities that bear his name. Beginning in 1950 and continuing for the next 50 years, Edwards traveled to that city during the first weekend of May every year.
Edwards furthered the career of another game show host, his protégé Bob Barker. The 1940s-1950s TV version of Truth or Consequences had featured Edwards, Jack Bailey, and Steve Dunne. When the show returned for another NBC run in late 1956, Edwards hired Barker, a popular West Coast radio and TV personality on December 21 after hearing his radio show on his car radio. During the 2001 Daytime Emmy Awards, Barker told backstage reporters that his lifelong friend Edwards told him to be no one else but himself.
Barker would host Truth or Consequences on NBC until 1965, and later in daily syndication until 1975, by which time he had also taken over a revival of The Price Is Right on CBS from 1972 to 2007 (Drew Carey has been the host since 2007). As a result, thanks to Edwards's "be yourself" admonition, Barker became as familiar with a generation of Truth or Consequences and Price Is Right viewers, as earlier fans had with Edwards and original Price Is Right host Bill Cullen during the original versions of the shows in the 1950s and 1960s.
Edwards produced dozens of game shows, including About Faces, Knockout, Place the Face, It Could Be You, Name That Tune (1970s version) and The Cross-Wits. In 1981, with Stu Billett, he executive-produced The People's Court, the first program of its type. In 1996, along with Stu Billett, they also did Bzzz!. He had a notable acting role, his character a jovial and decreasingly skeptical radio dj, in the episode of the CBS Radio series Suspense "Ghost Hunt" (based on H. Russell Wakefield's story from the 25th anniversary issue of Weird Tales) in 1949.
Edwards was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
The Game Show Congress annually presents the Ralph Edwards Service Award, for those within the game show community who have worked tirelessly for charitable causes. In 2004, Edwards' son accepted the first of these awards on behalf of his father. Edwards is not related to KTLA broadcaster Stephanie Edwards.
On November 16, 2005 Edwards died of heart failure in Los Angeles, California. Shortly before his death he released a selection of his This Is Your Life programs on DVD.
Currently, Ralph Edwards is 109 years, 7 months and 17 days old. Ralph Edwards will celebrate 110th birthday on a Tuesday 13th of June 2023.
Find out about Ralph Edwards birthday activities in timeline view here.