Broadcasting legend Hugh Downs dead at 99 - FOX34 Lubbock

Broadcasting legend Hugh Downs dead at 99

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By Brian Flood | Fox News

Broadcasting legend Hugh Downs died at age 99 on Wednesday night surrounded by loved ones, according to CBS’ Arizona affiliate.

A Downs family spokesperson told the local CBS affiliate on Thursday that the death was not related to the coronavirus pandemic.

"In 1985, Hugh was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as holding the record for the greatest number of hours on network commercial television (15,188 hours), until he lost the record to Regis Philbin in 2004," the spokeswoman told CBS 5.

The Washington Post reported that the cause of death was a heart ailment.

Arizona State University named The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication after the broadcasting icon in 1999. The school’s website says it is “aptly named for a man with a passion for life-long learning, a commitment to (and appreciation of) the role of communication in human interactions, and an ability to communicate effectively whether with one person or large and diverse groups.”

Downs was born in Akron, Ohio, and started his broadcasting career as a radio announcer in Lima, Ohio.

Hugh joined the "Home" show on NBC in 1954 and was the announcer for "Caesar's Hour" from 1956-57 when he helped launch "The Tonight Show" as Jack Paar’s sidekick. In 1958 he also began hosting popular game show "Concentration.” By 1962 he started a nine-year stint as a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, where he also served as a reporter. Downs then joined ABC where he co-anchored “20/20” alongside Walters.

Her served in the United States Army before beginning his broadcasting career.


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