54 Facts About Ed Sullivan


Edward Vincent Sullivan was an American television personality, impresario, sports and entertainment reporter, and syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate.


Ed Sullivan was the creator and host of the television variety program The Toast of the Town, which in 1955 was renamed The Ed Sullivan Show.


Ed Sullivan was a broadcasting pioneer during the early years of American television.


Edward Vincent Sullivan was born on September 28,1901 in Harlem, New York City, the son of Elizabeth F and Peter Arthur Sullivan, a customs house employee.


Ed Sullivan was raised in Port Chester, New York, where the family lived in a small red brick home at 53 Washington Street.


Ed Sullivan was a gifted athlete in high school, earning 12 athletic letters at Port Chester High School.


Ed Sullivan played football as a halfback, basketball as a guard and track as a sprinter.


Ed Sullivan landed his first job at The Port Chester Daily Item, a local newspaper for which he had written sports news while in high school and which he joined full-time after graduation.


Ed Sullivan next worked for The New York Evening Mail as a sports reporter.


In 1927, Ed Sullivan joined The New York Evening Graphic, first as a sports writer and then as a sports editor.


In 1929, when Walter Winchell moved to The Daily Mirror, Ed Sullivan was named the New York Evening Graphic's Broadway columnist.


Ed Sullivan left the paper for the city's largest tabloid, the New York Daily News.


In 1933, Ed Sullivan wrote and starred in the film Mr Broadway, in which he guided the audience around New York nightspots to meet entertainers and celebrities.


Ed Sullivan soon became a powerful force in the entertainment world and one of Winchell's main rivals, setting the El Morocco nightclub in New York as his unofficial headquarters against Winchell's seat of power at the nearby Stork Club.


Ed Sullivan continued writing for the New York Daily News throughout his broadcasting career, and his popularity long outlived that of Winchell.


In 1941, Ed Sullivan became host of the Summer Silver Theater, a variety program on CBS, with Will Bradley as bandleader and a guest star featured each week.


Ed Sullivan had a healthy sense of humor about himself and permitted and even encouraged impersonators such as John Byner, Frank Gorshin, Rich Little and especially Will Jordan to imitate him on his show.


Ed Sullivan played himself, parodying his mannerisms as directed by Jerry Lewis, in Lewis' 1964 film The Patsy.


Ed Sullivan inspired a song in the musical Bye Bye Birdie and in 1963 appeared as himself in the film.


In 1954, Ed Sullivan appeared as a cohost on the television musical special General Foods 25th Anniversary Show: A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein.


In November 1963, while at Heathrow Airport, Ed Sullivan witnessed the Beatlemania spectacle as the band returned from Sweden and the terminal was overrun by screaming teens.


At first Ed Sullivan was reluctant to book the Beatles because the band did not yet have a commercially successful single in the US, but at the behest of his friend, the legendary impresario Sid Bernstein, Ed Sullivan signed the group.


Unlike with many shows of the time, Ed Sullivan asked that most musical acts perform their music live, rather than lip-synching to their recordings.


In 1969, Ed Sullivan presented the Jackson 5 with their first single "I Want You Back", which ousted Thomas' song from the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100.


Ed Sullivan defied pressure to exclude black entertainers and to avoid interacting with them on screen.


At a time when television had not yet embraced country and western music, Ed Sullivan featured Nashville performers on his program.


Ed Sullivan appeared as himself on other television programs, including an April 1958 episode of the Howard Duff and Ida Lupino CBS situation comedy Mr Adams and Eve.


In 1961, Ed Sullivan substituted for Red Skelton on The Red Skelton Show.


Ed Sullivan took Skelton's roles in the various comedy sketches, with Skelton's hobo character Freddie the Freeloader renamed Eddie the Freeloader.


Ed Sullivan was quick to take offense if he felt that he had been crossed, and he could hold a grudge for a long time.


Ed Sullivan was enraged: "You're the first black boy that ever double-crossed me on the show," Diddley quoted him as saying.


Buddy Holly and the Crickets first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in 1957 to an enthusiastic response.


Ed Sullivan saw to it that Holly's guitar amplifier volume was barely audible, except during his guitar solo.


Nevertheless, the band was so well-received that Ed Sullivan was forced to invite them back; Holly responded that Ed Sullivan did not have enough money.


Ed Sullivan's signal distracted the studio audience, and to television viewers unaware of the circumstances, it seemed as though Mason's jokes were falling flat.


Ed Sullivan was angered by the insubordination, but the Stones did make one additional appearance on the show, in 1969.


Ed Sullivan got out of it by adding, 'who look more like the Three Stooges to me'.


Ed Sullivan would consult Kirkpatrick if any questions came up regarding a potential guest's political leanings.


Ed Sullivan's chosen song was "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues", which poked fun at the ultraconservative John Birch Society and its tendency to see Communist conspiracies in many situations.


The story generated widespread media attention in the days that followed; Ed Sullivan denounced the network's decision in published interviews.


Ed Sullivan butted heads with Standards and Practices on other occasions, as well.


Ed Sullivan was engaged to champion swimmer Sybil Bauer, but she died of cancer in 1927 at the age of 23.


Sullivan rented a suite next door to the family suite, which he used as an office until The Ed Sullivan Show was canceled in 1971.


Ed Sullivan habitually called his wife after every program to get her critique.


Ed Sullivan died on March 16,1973, at Mount Sinai Hospital from a ruptured aorta.


Excerpts have been released on home video, and posted on the official Ed Sullivan Show YouTube Channel.


Angered, Ed Sullivan refused to host three more months of scheduled shows.


Ed Sullivan remained with the network in various other capacities and hosted a 25th anniversary special in June 1973.


In early September 1974, Ed Sullivan was diagnosed with an advanced stage of esophageal cancer.


Ed Sullivan died on October 13,1974, at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital.


Ed Sullivan's funeral was attended by 2,000 people at St Patrick's Cathedral, New York, on a cold, rainy day.


Ed Sullivan is interred in a crypt at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.


Ed Sullivan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Blvd.


In 1985, Ed Sullivan was welcomed to the Television Academy Hall of Fame.