As you may already know, American icon Paul Harvey died on Saturday. I’ve always said to people, “Why should I care about celebrities?” I never thought I’d care a great deal about the happenings to any of them. Well it turns out I was wrong. It came as a great surprise to me when I actually shed a tear (only one though) when I heard over the weekend that Paul Harvey passed away. It is an even greater surprise that I still feel a bit sad whenever I hear a new tribute or story about the man. As it turns out, I’m really going to miss listening to him on the radio.
I have disagreed with Paul Harvey a lot over the years (in my own thoughts anyway), mostly about the way he reported medical stories without questioning the validity of the data or his reports on the war in Iraq & against terrorism. But even with that, I have always liked his programs. When I used to drive to work I’d try and time my commute so I could catch “The Rest of the Story” (one of my favorite programs) on KGO. I still remember his story about the penny and the Chicago newspaper advertiser who started the 99 is less than 100 trend (because people feel that $9.99 is a lot less than $10) because he wanted to sell his paper for a penny instead of a nickle. I’d even occasionally take lunch around his noon program “News & Comment.”
Being on the radio for over 60 years, even after he turned 90, Paul Harvey became a radio legend. According to his Wikipedia entry, Paul Harvey’s programs were carried on over 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers. With that sort of exposure, his passing will have a profound impact and noticeable loss to a large and diverse group of people. I’m sure he will be sorely missed. An additional note of merit, Paul Harvey was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award.
As you might also know, his son, Paul Harvey Jr, has been filling in for him over the last several years as he dealt illness and the loss of his wife. It is good to hear that Paul Harvey Jr will be continuing in his father’s footsteps and keeping the programs going.
Rest in peace Paul Harvey. I, as well as a nation, mourn your passing. In the words of Paul Harvey himself, “Good day.”
P.S. If you’d like to leave his family your condolence for his family you can do so at http://abcrn.com/harvey/contact/
This post was written by Michael Tougeron on March 3, 2009