Paul Harvey receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
Paul Harvey Aurandt
September 4, 1918
February 28, 2009 (age 90) Phoenix, Arizona
The Rest of the Story, and Paul Harvey News and Comment
ABC Radio Networks
Lynne "Angel" Cooper Harvey (1940 to 2008)
Paul Harvey, Jr.
Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 to February 28, 2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was an American radio
broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks. He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on
Saturdays, as well as his famous The Rest of the Story segments. His listening audience was estimated, at its
peak, at 24 million people a week. Harvey liked to say he was raised in radio newsrooms.
The most noticeable features of Harvey's idiosyncratic delivery were his dramatic
pauses, quirky intonations and his folksiness. A large part of his success
stemmed from the seamlessness with which he segued from his monologue into
reading commercial messages. He explained his enthusiastic support of his
sponsors: "I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where
my mouth is."
The son of a policeman, Harvey made radio receivers as a young boy. He attended Tulsa Central High School
where a teacher, Isabelle Ronan, was "impressed by his voice." On her recommendation, he started
working at KVOO in Tulsa in 1933, when he was 14. His first job was helping clean up. Eventually he was allowed to fill in
on the air, reading commercials and the news.
While attending the University of Tulsa, he continued working at KVOO, first as an announcer, and later as
a program director. Harvey spent three years as a program director for KFBI, a local station in Salina, Kansas. From there,
he moved to a newscasting job at KOMA in Oklahoma City, and then to KXOK in St.Louis, where he was Director of Special Events and a roving reporter.
Harvey then moved to Hawaii to cover the United States Navy as it concentrated its fleet in the Pacific. He was returning
to the mainland from assignment when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He eventually enlisted in the United States Army
Air Forces but served only from December 1943 to March 1944. His critics claimed he was given a psychiatric discharge for
deliberately injuring himself in the heel. Harvey angrily denied the accusation, but was vague about details: "There was a
little training accident...a minor cut on the obstacle course...I don't recall seeing anyone I knew who was a psychiatrist...
I cannot tell you the exact wording on my discharge.".
Move to Chicago
Paul Harvey then moved to to Chicago, where in June 1944, he began broadcasting from the ABC affiliate WENR. He quickly became the most popular newscaster in Chicago. In 1945, he began hosting the postwar employment program Jobs for G.I. Joe on WENR. Harvey added The Rest of the Story as a tagline to in-depth feature stories in 1946. The spots became their own series in 1976. On April 1, 1951 the ABC Radio Network debuted Paul Harvey News and Comment "Commentary and analysis of Paul Harvey each weekday at 12 Noon". Paul Harvey was also heard originally on Sundays; the first Sunday program was Harvey's introduction. Later, the Sunday program would move to Saturdays. The program continued until his death.
From the late 1960s through the early 1980s, there was a televised, five-minute editorial by Paul Harvey that local stations could insert into their local news programs or show separately. On May 10, 1976, ABC Radio Networks premiered The Rest of the Story as a separate series which provided endless surprises as Harvey dug into stories behind the stories of famous events and people. Harvey's son, a concert pianist, created and produced the series. He was the show's only writer.
In 2000, Harvey signed a 10-year, $100M contract with ABC Radio Networks. A few months later, after damaging his vocal cords, he went off the air, but returned in August 2001.
Harvey's News and Comment was streamed on the World Wide Web twice a day. Paul Harvey News has been called the "largest one-man network in the world," as it was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations around the world and 300 newspapers. His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator.
Former Senator Fred Thompson, known for his work on NBC's Law and Order, substituted for Harvey regularly from 2006 to 2007, prior to his unsuccessful run for President. Thompson left the network to run and did not return, instead joining Westwood One in January 2009. Other substitutes for Harvey have included his son, Paul Harvey, Jr., Doug Limerick, Paul W. Smith, Gil Gross, Ron Chapman, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mort Crim, Scott Shannon, and Tony Snow. After Huckabee's sub-hosting, ABC offered him a spin-off program, The Huckabee Report, which launched early in 2009. Gross (morning) and Limerick (afternoons) were named Harvey's eventual successors, but three weeks after Harvey's death, the entire News and Comment franchise was canceled.
Harvey did not host the show full-time after April 2008, when he came down with pneumonia. Shortly after his recovery, his wife died on May 3, causing him to prolong his time away from broadcasting. He voiced commercials, new episodes of The Rest of the Story and News & Comment during middays a few times a week, with his son handling mornings.
On-air persona, catch phrases, trademarks, and off-air interest
Harvey's on-air persona mirrored that of sportscaster Bill Stern. During the 1940s, the famed Stern's The Colgate Sports Reel and newsreel programs used many of the techniques later used by Harvey, including the style of delivery and the use of phrases such as Reel Two and Reel Three to denote segments of the broadcast - much like Harvey's Page Two and Page Three. The discovery of many of Stern's old programs on transcription discs have led many to believe that much of Harvey's broadcasting style is based on Stern's work, including most notably the Rest of the Story feature, which is a direct parallel to a technique used weekly by Stern. Stern introduced his version of the feature with a caveat that the stories might not be true; Harvey asserted his tales had been authenticated. However, at least one urban legend has been circulated with Harvey as the purported source, and Jan Brunvand, an expert on urban legends, wrote that Harvey "doesn't distinguish folklore from fact" and epitomizes the old saying, "The truth never stands in the way of a good story."
Harvey was also known for catch phrases he used at the beginning of his programs, such as "Hello Americans, I'm Paul Harvey. You know what the news is, in a minute, you're going to hear ... the rest of the story." He always ended, "Paul Harvey ... Good day." A story might be "This day's news of most lasting significance." At the end of a report about someone who had done something ridiculous or offensive, Harvey would say, "He would want us to mention his name," followed by silence, then would start the next item. The last item of a broadcast, which was often a funny story, would usually be preceded by "For what it's worth."
In addition to the inquiry into whether Harvey's Rest of the Story tales are true, Harvey's trademark ability to seamlessly migrate from content to commercial brought scrutiny. In that context, Salon magazine called him the "finest huckster ever to roam the airwaves." Some have argued that Harvey's fawning and lavish product endorsements may be misleading or confusing to his primary audience, senior citizens. Harvey's endorsed products include EdenPure heaters, Bose radios, and Select Comfort mattresses, some of which have been poorly received by consumers or derided as overpriced. In one of the tribute broadcasts, Gil Gross said Harvey considered advertising just another type of news, and he only endorsed products he believed in, often interviewing someone from the company.
Harvey was also an avid pilot. He had been an Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association member for more than 50 years, and would occasionally talk about flying to his radio audience. He also was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and was frequently seen at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. He was responsible for funding the Paul Harvey Audio-Video Center at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh. According to AOPA Pilot contributing editor Barry Schiff, Harvey coined the term "skyjack." He is also credited with coining "Reaganomics" and "guesstimate."
His car of choice was the Cadillac. His Illinois license plates read PH. Chicago officially recognized his accomplishments by naming one of the streets near the Loop, "Paul Harvey Drive". He was a long time resident of River Forest, Illinois, an affluent suburb about 12 miles west of Chicago.
Paul Harvey was a close friend of Reverend Billy Graham From the mid 1970s until the mid 1980s, Harvey attended Calvary Memorial Church, in Oak Park. IL. When the church moved from its original location on Madison Street to the former Presbyterian Church on Lake Street, Harvey asked his friend Graham to preach at the dedication service. According to some sources, Harvey was a convert to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, baptized into the church around the year 2000. Another source states that he never formally became an Adventist. In any event, he and his wife regularly attended the Camelback Adventist Church in Scottsdale, Arizona during his winters there. He often quoted Adventist pioneer Ellen G. White in his broadcasts and received the "Golden Microphone" Award for his professionalism and graciousness in dealing with the church.
Harvey was named Salesman of the Year, Commentator of the Year, Person of the Year, Father of the Year, and American of the Year. He was elected to the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and appeared on the Gallup poll list of America's most admired men. In addition he received 11 Freedom Foundation Awards as well as the Horatio Alger Award. Paul Harvey was named to the DeMolay Hall of Fame, a Masonic youth organization, on June 25, 1993.
In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' most prestigious civilian award, by President George W. Bush.
On May 18, 2007, he received an honorary degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Paul Harvey was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of Harry Harrison Aurandt (1873-1921) and Anna Dagmar (nee Christensen) Aurandt (1883-1960). His father was born in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania; his mother was a native of Denmark. He had one sibling, an older sister Frances Harrietta (nee Aurandt) Price (1908-1988).
In 1921, when Harvey was three years old, his father was murdered. He and a friend-a Tulsa police detective-were rabbit hunting while off-duty when approached by four armed men who attempted to rob them. Aurandt was shot and died two days later of his wounds. The four robbers were identified by the surviving detective, and arrested the day after Aurandt died. A lynch mob of 1,500 people formed at the jail, but all four were smuggled out, tried, convicted, and received life terms.25
In 1940, Harvey married Lynne Cooper of St. Louis. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Washington University in St. Louis and a former schoolteacher. Harvey himself was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha at Culver-Stockton College in Missouri. They met when Harvey was working at KXOK and Cooper came to the station for a school news program. Harvey invited her to dinner, proposed to her after a few minutes of conversation and from then on called her "Angel," even on his radio show. A year later she said yes. The couple moved to Chicago in 1945.
On May 17, 2007, Harvey told his radio audience that Angel had developed leukemia. Her death, at the age of 92, was announced by ABC radio on May 3, 2008. When she died at their River Forest home, the Chicago Sun-Times described her as, "More than his astute business partner and producer, she also was a pioneer for women in radio and an influential figure in her own right for decades." According to the founder of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, Bruce DuMont, "She was to Paul Harvey what Colonel Parker was to Elvis Presley. She really put him on track to have the phenomenal career that his career has been."
Lynne Harvey was the first producer ever inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, and had developed some of her husband's best-known features, such as "The Rest of the Story." While working on her husband's radio show, she established 10 p.m. as the hour in which news is broadcast. She was the first woman to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Chicago chapter of American Women in Radio and Television. She worked in television also, and created a television show called Dilemma which is acknowledged as the prototype of the modern talk show genre. While working at CBS, she was among the first women to produce an entire newscast. In later years, she was best known as a philanthropist.
They had one son, Paul Aurandt, Jr., who goes by the name Paul Harvey, Jr. He assisted his father at News and Comment and The Rest of the Story. Paul, Jr., whose voice announces the bumpers into and out of each News and Comment episode, filled in for his father during broadcasts and has been broadcasting the morning editions ever since the passing of his mother.
Death and tributes
Harvey died on February 28, 2009, at the age of 90 after being taken to a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. He died while surrounded by family and friends. His son, Paul Harvey Jr., said "millions have lost a friend" in response to his father's death. The cause was not immediately known.
Former President George W. Bush issued a statement on Harvey's death: "Laura and I are saddened by the death of Paul Harvey. Paul was a friendly and familiar voice in the lives of millions of Americans. His commentary entertained, enlightened, and informed. Laura and I are pleased to have known this fine man, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
A week of tribute broadcasts replaced the normal News and Comment and Rest of the Story broadcasts. For example, on March 3, instead of The Rest of the Story, Harvey's report of November 22, 1963 aired. The next day, it was announced that Gil Gross would be the next host of News & Comment, and Doug Limerick the next host of The Rest of the Story.
In May 2009, Regnery Publishing issued a full-length biography of Harvey entitled Good Day! The Paul Harvey Story.
If I Were the Devil as Broadcasted by Paul Harvey, ABC Radio, Monday - March 8, 1993
If I were the devil, I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world; I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings; I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around; I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue.
I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership; I would make it legal to kill unborn babies; I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient; I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals is valued more than human beings; I would take God out of
the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit; I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them; I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member with my agenda; I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.
I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation; I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and call it art; I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted; I would convince the people that right and wrong
are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct; I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive; I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional; Hmmm... I guess if I were the
devil, I'd leave things pretty much the way they are. Good day.
- Autumn of Liberty Garden City, New York: Hanover House, 1954.
- The Rest of the Story. Garden City, New York: Hanover House, 1956.
- Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1975.
- Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1977.
- More of Paul Harvey's The Rest of the StoryNew York: William Morrow, 1980.
- Destiny: From Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story. New York: William Morrow, 1983.
- Paul Harvey's For What It's Worth. New York: Bantam Books, 1991,
Host of News and Comment (mornings)
Paul Harvey, Jr.
- "Report: Radio Legend Paul Harvey Dies".
CBS-13 TV website. 2009-02-28. http://cbs13.com/entertainment/paul.harvey.dies.2.947030.html.
- Rick Kogan, "Good days for Paul Harvey", Chicago
Tribune, August 4, 2002.>
- Joe Howard, "Paul Harvey: A Legend Looks Back",
Radio Ink, November 2, 2006.
- Marc Fisher, "A
Lifetime on the Radio", American Journalism Review, October 1998.
- Linda Witt (January 22, 1979). Forget Cronkite: Paul Harvey Is the Biggest
Newscaster in America, and Getting Bigger. People Vol. 11 No. 3
- Paul Harvey Jr. Fills In For Harvey In Mornings,
April 30, 2008, at Radio Ink. Accessed May 4, 2008
Retrieved on 2008/04/09.
Retrieved on 2008/04/09.
Retrieved on 2008/04/09.
Retrieved on 2008/04/02.
- Romney To Fill In For Paul Harvey. Radio
Ink. 9 April 2008.
- Vogel, Kenneth. Huckabee in talks for own Fox show. The
Politico. 14 July 2008.
- Urban Legend: Flight 261 at About.Com.
- Dan Wilson (September/October 1997). "The
Right of the Story".Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1394.
- Ripoff Report
- Rupert Cornwell (March 5 2009). "Paul Harvey: Radio Broadcaster Who Became the Voice of America (obituary)". The
The Religious Affiliation of Radio Broadcaster
Paul Harvey at Adherents.com.
- Paul Harvey at NNDB.>
Batura, Paul (2009-05-19). Good Day! The Paul Harvey Story.Regnery
Publishing. pp. 183-185. ISBN 978-1596981010.
- SDALink Paul Harvey Tribute.
- 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.
- Owens, Ron (2000)."Oklahoma Heroes: The Oklahoma Peace Officers
Memorial]". Turner Publishing Company. pp. 41-42.
- aLynne Harvey, wife of broadcaster Paul Harvey,
dies Associated Press obituary appearing in the Chicago Sun-Times May
- Producer for radio legend husband dies, May
4, 2008, Chicago Sun-Times.
- Radio commentator Paul Harvey's wife Lynne
Cooper Harvey dies at age 92. Associated Press. May 4, 2008.
- Dilaing: Passing of Radio's 'Angel', May 6,
2008 by Robert Feder, Chicago Sun-Times. Accessed May 6, 2008.
from ABC Radio Networks on the passing of Paul Harvey".
- "Statement by Former President George W. Bush on the Death of Paul Harvey". 2009-02-28.
- "Gross, Limerick to Replace Paul Harvey on ABC
Radio". 2009-03-04. http://news.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/$rol.exe/headline_id=n19009.
- Paul Harvey official website
- Paul Harvey at Find a Grave
- Argonne passes a reporter's security test Harvey's 1951 attempt to test security at Argonne
Right of the Story Is Paul Harvey's reporting accurate?
- Report, Obituary and Photo gallery 1918-2009 in the Chicago Tribune
- Photo gallery in the Chicago Sun-Times
- Paul Harvey, Newscaster, dies at 90
- McFadden, Robert D. "Paul Harvey, Homespun
Radio Voice of Middle America, Is Dead at 90," The New York Times,
Monday, March 2, 2009.
- "Paul Harvey . . . Good Day! Remembering an
American original" - Wall
Street Journal - March 4, 2009