Johnny Carson

The King of Late Night

Early Life

• Born John William Carson on October 23, 1925 in Corning, Iowa

• At the age of 14, Carson performed magic for $3 an appearance

• Joined the Navy in 1943 and received officer training at Columbia University and Millsaps College


• Began his broadcasting career in 1950 at WOW radio and television in Omaha, Nebraska

• Carson's first successful show was called Who Do You Trust?

Carson was invited by NBC to become the host of Tonight

In May 1972, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson moved to Burbank, California. Shows rarely ever move cities.

• Carson is most famous for his comedic characters which include: Art Fern, Carnac the Magnificent, and Floyd R. Turbo

In the mid 1970s, Carson became the highest paid personality on television, earning about $4 million a year ($14,316,000 today)

Later Life

• In 1981, Carson created the John W. Carson Foundation to support children

• Carson retired for show business on May 22, 1992 at age 66

  • Carson died on January 23, 2005 at the age of 79 in West Hollywood California due to emphysema
  • Other Information

    • Carson had a list of pre-written answers to answer questions from journalists

    • Carson was married three times, two of which he got a divorce and one where he stayed married until his death

    • Carson was a major investor in the DeLorean Motor Company (the company of the car that appeared in the Back to the Future Trilogy)

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