David Letterman

Television Personality
Born Apr 12, 1947

David Michael Letterman is an American television host and comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show, Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. Letterman recently surpassed friend and mentor Johnny Carson for having the longest late-night hosting career in the United States of America. Letterman is also a television and film producer.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of David Letterman.


1947 Birth Born on April 12, 1947.


1968 21 Years Old On July 2, 1968, Letterman married his college sweetheart Michelle Cook (born July 2, 1946) in Muncie, Indiana; the marriage ended in divorce by October 1977.
1969 22 Years Old …  He is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, and he graduated in 1969 from what was then the Department of Radio and Television. … Read More
1971 24 Years Old In 1971 Letterman appeared as a pit road reporter for ABC Sports' tape-delayed coverage of the Indianapolis 500. … Read More
1975 28 Years Old In 1975, encouraged by his then-wife Michelle and several of his Sigma Chi fraternity brothers, Letterman moved to Los Angeles, California, with hope of becoming a comedy writer. … Read More


1977 30 Years Old 1 More Event
By the summer of 1977, Letterman was a writer and regular on the six-week summer series The Starland Vocal Band Show, broadcast on CBS.
1978 31 Years Old 1 More Event
His dry, sarcastic humor caught the attention of scouts for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and Letterman was soon a regular guest on the show. Letterman became a favorite of Carson and was a regular guest host for the show beginning in 1978. … Read More
1980 33 Years Old On June 23, 1980, Letterman was given his own morning comedy show on NBC, The David Letterman Show. … Read More
1982 35 Years Old 1 More Event
He hosted a late night television talk show for 33 years, beginning with the February 1, 1982, debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC, and ending with the May 20, 2015, broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. … Read More


1992 45 Years Old In 1992, Johnny Carson retired, and many fans believed that Letterman would become host of The Tonight Show. … Read More
1993 46 Years Old 1 More Event
The new show debuted on August 30, 1993, and was taped at the historic Ed Sullivan Theater, where Ed Sullivan broadcast his eponymous variety series from 1948 to 1971. … Read More
1995 48 Years Old On March 27, 1995, Letterman acted as the host for the 67th Academy Awards ceremony. … Read More


1998 51 Years Old …  After she committed suicide in October 1998, Letterman told The New York Times that he had great compassion for her. … Read More
2000 53 Years Old 1 More Event
On January 14, 2000, a routine check-up revealed that an artery in Letterman's heart was severely obstructed. … Read More
2002 55 Years Old In March 2002, as Letterman's contract with CBS neared expiration, ABC offered him the time slot for long-running news program Nightline with Ted Koppel. … Read More
2005 58 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In early 2005, it was revealed that Carson occasionally sent jokes to Letterman, who used these jokes in his monologue; according to CBS senior vice president Peter Lassally (a one-time producer for both men), Carson got "a big kick out of it." … Read More


2007 60 Years Old 1 More Event
Winfrey and Letterman also appeared together in a Late Show promo that aired during CBS's coverage of Super Bowl XLI in February 2007, with the two sitting next to each other on the couch watching the game. … Read More
…  On his June 10 show, Letterman responded to the controversy, saying the jokes were meant to be about Palin's eighteen-year-old daughter, Bristol, whose pregnancy as an unmarried teenager caused controversy during the United States presidential election of 2008. "These are not jokes made about (Palin's) 14-year-old daughter," he said. "I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl." … Read More
Letterman and Lasko wed on March 19, 2009, during a quiet courthouse civil ceremony in Choteau, Montana, where he purchased a ranch in 1999. … Read More
2011 64 Years Old …  He won four American Comedy Awards and in 2011 became the first recipient of the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at The Comedy Awards.
As of 2012, he still owned the truck. … Read More
Winfrey interviewed Letterman in January 2013 on Oprah's Next Chapter. … Read More
2014 67 Years Old During the taping of his April 3, 2014, show, Letterman announced that he had informed CBS president Leslie Moonves that he would retire from hosting Late Show by May 20, 2015. … Read More
His contract was subsequently extended to 2015.
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