Walter Winchell

Journalist + Commentator
Born Apr 7, 1897

Walter Winchell was an American newspaper and radio gossip commentator.

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1897 Birth Born on April 7, 1897.


1920 23 Years Old He began his career in journalism by posting notes about his acting troupe on backstage bulletin boards. He joined the Vaudeville News in 1920, then left the paper for the Evening Graphic in 1924, where his column was named Mainly About Mainstreeters.


1928 31 Years Old The couple separated a few years later, and he moved in with June Magee, who had already given birth to their first child, a daughter named Walda. Winchell and Greene eventually divorced in 1928. … Read More
1929 32 Years Old He was hired on June 10, 1929 by the New York Daily Mirror where he finally became the author of the first syndicated gossip column, entitled On-Broadway. … Read More
1930 33 Years Old 1 More Event
He made his radio debut over WABC in New York, a CBS affiliate, on May 12, 1930. … Read More


1937 40 Years Old One example of his profile at his professional peak was being mentioned in Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's 1937 song "The Lady Is a Tramp": "I follow Winchell, and read every line." … Read More


1948 51 Years Old During World War II, he attacked the National Maritime Union, the labor organization for the civilian United States Merchant Marine which he said was run by Communists. In 1948 and 1949, he and influential leftist columnist Drew Pearson "inaccurately and maliciously assaulted Secretary of Defense James Forrestal in columns and radio broadcasts." … Read More
1955 58 Years Old His weekly radio broadcast was simulcast on ABC television until he ended that association because of a dispute with ABC executives in 1955.


1957 60 Years Old He starred in The Walter Winchell File, a television crime drama series that initially aired from 1957 to 1958, dramatizing cases from the New York City Police Department that were covered in the New York Daily Mirror. … Read More
1960 63 Years Old In 1960, he signed with NBC to host a variety program called The Walter Winchell Show, which was canceled after only thirteen weeks—a particularly bitter failure in view of the success of his longtime rival Ed Sullivan in a similar format. … Read More
1963 66 Years Old …  The New York Daily Mirror, his flagship newspaper for 34 years, closed in 1963; his readership dropped steadily, and he faded from the public eye. … Read More
1968 71 Years Old Walter Jr., the only son of the journalist, committed suicide in his family's garage on Christmas night, 1968. … Read More
1969 72 Years Old Winchell announced his retirement on February 5, 1969, citing the tragedy of his son's suicide as a major reason, while also noting the delicate health of Magee. … Read More
1972 75 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He led the charity - with the support of celebrities including Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Marilyn Monroe, and Joe DiMaggio - until his own death from cancer in 1972. … Read More
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