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Paar, Jacklocked

(01 May 1918–27 January 2004)
  • Dennis Wepman

Extract

Paar, Jack (01 May 1918–27 January 2004), television talk show host, was born Jack Harold Paar in Canton, Ohio, the son of Howard Paar, a division superintendent for the New York Central Railroad, and Lillian Hein. Howard Paar's job often took the family to new locations, but Jack spent most of his youth in Detroit and Jackson, Michigan, where he attended Jackson High School. He suffered from a slight stutter and worked hard to correct it, reading aloud with a mouthful of buttons in imitation of the Greek orator Demosthenes. In his teens he developed tuberculosis and spent a year in bed, where he became a voracious reader, but had to repeat his first year of high school. The light heavyweight wrestling champion of his school, he was an indifferent student and dropped out after reaching the eighth grade at the age of sixteen. That year he got a job as an announcer on radio WIBM in Jackson at twelve dollars a week. During the next few years he held similar and equally low-salaried jobs as an announcer or disk jockey with the stations WIRE in Indianapolis, WKBM in Youngstown, Ohio, WCAE in Pittsburgh, and, at the age of eighteen, WGAR in Cleveland. While in Cleveland, according to his memoir ...

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