Garry Moore was the host of numerous radio and television shows from the 1930s through the 1970s.
Born Thomas Garrison Morfit in Baltimore, he began his career in 1935 as a writer and actor/comedian at radio station WBAL. In 1940, as host of the CBS program Club Matinee, he held an on-air contest for a stage name easier to pronounce than Morfit. A woman from Pittsburgh suggested “Garry Moore.”
He worked in radio until 1950, when CBS launched the daytime variety show The Garry Moore Show. Moore established a casual and genial persona, making his TV show a welcome presence through various incarnations that remained on the air until 1967. The show was the venue for some of the first television appearances of Carol Burnett, Jonathan Winters, Alan King, Don Knotts, George Goebel, and Don Adams.
In September of 1954, Moore suggested that the 3 million viewers of The Garry Moore Show each send a nickel to Mrs. Margaret Deibel, a Michigan housewife who was visiting the studio. Within a week, Deibel received $7,000 in nickels.
Moore hosted I’ve Got a Secret from 1953 to 1964 and To Tell the Truth from 1969 to 1977. He died of emphysema in 1993 at age 78.