Johnny Carson


A towering figure in the history of television, Johnny Carson was the host of "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1954- ) for three decades. During that time, the congenial Midwesterner established a blueprint for the job through his quick wit, impeccable taste in guests (especially comedic talent) and personable delivery that made every guest - from the biggest star to the man on the street - shine in the spotlight. Carson's magnetism and talent made him not only a celebrity, but also part of the national fabric: as David Letterman once said, people wanted to end their day by being tucked in by Johnny. His unexpected death in 2005 left a vast void in not only the talk show world, but in the entertainment industry as a whole.


October 23, 1925 in Corning, Iowa, United States