John Swayze

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John Cameron Swayze (1906-1995) was a news commentator and actor in early television history. His first major television work was covering the political conventions of 1948, which became the first conventions to be broadcast on television. In 1949, Swayze became popular as an anchor for a news show, Camel News Caravan, which aired on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Camel News Caravan replaced newsreels to became the most popular newscast on television.[1] This 15 minute newscast consisted of reporting and commentary on the days news events and also on-air interviews. Along with his work for NBC as anchor of their news show, he also appeared in other non-news related shows, this made him one of television's first stars. In 1956, when Swayze news programs ratings began to fall, NBC replaced his program when David Brinkley and Chet Huntley took over to form the Huntley Brinkley Report. After losing his job with the Camel News Caravan, Swayze began appearing in Timex watch commercials, a job he worked at for the next twenty years. All of his television work helped him become one of the most recognized personalities on television.[2] Swayze died in August 1995 at the age of 89.The anchorman was known for his Midwestern accent and ability to memorize the news, Fred Friendly, who was president of CBS News during Swayze career stated, "He could remember anything, anything at all."

Trivia

  • Swayze would close every broadcast of Camel News Caravan with the now famous saying, “Glad we could get together”
  • Timex watch commercials would show watches being placed to motorboat propellers, put underwater, and fastened to the bottom of skis, after which Swayze would state about the watch, "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking." [3]
  • Swayze left the University of Kansas in to try out as an actor on Broadway. [4]

References

  1. http://movies2.nytimes.com/person/69312/John-Cameron-Swayze
  2. http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/media.cfm?mediaID=34995
  3. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842027/bio
  4. http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/media.cfm?mediaID=34995


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