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Shriner, Herblocked

(29 May 1918–23 April 1970)
  • Ann T. Keene

Extract

Shriner, Herb (29 May 1918–23 April 1970), humorist, was born Herbert Schriner in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Edith Rockwell Schriner and her husband, whose name is variously given as Peter or Herbert Schriner and whom some sources list as a tombstone engraver. When Herbert was still a toddler, his mother left Schriner and moved with her son to Fort Wayne, Indiana. There she supported the two of them as a department store detective. As he grew older, Herbert contributed to the family income by working as a newspaper carrier. Young Herbert attended a local Catholic grade school, where he learned to play the harmonica, an instrument then popular in the American heartland, and performed with the school band. While attending Central High School, he joined a harmonica quintet that made guest appearances at civic gatherings, and he earned additional income as a harmonica teacher. By 1935, during his junior year, the octet was making regular paid appearances on local radio stations, and he dropped out of school to pursue a full-time career as a performer....

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