Anyone who regularly listens to AM radio has heard the distinctive voice of Paul Harvey and his signature phrases of “guuuud – day” and “now you know the rest of the story.”
Harvey passed away this Saturday at the age of 90.
Harvey was a self-made man, who with the help of his wife Lynne, better known as “Angel” started a two person broadcasting empire after the end of World War Two. Mrs. Harvey who passed away in May of 2008 was the behind the scenes architect of the empire, while Paul was its voice.
Since 1976 Paul Harvey could be heard nationally on the WABC network radio broadcasts. He slowly but surely became an accomplished pitch-man for a wide array of products. His voice and style radiated a sense of honesty and trust that couldn’t be matched by the highest priced Madison Avenue ad agency. If Mr. Harvey chose to, he could have sold air-conditioners to Eskimos!
The thing that struck me the most about Paul Harvey was his enthusiasm for life and for his work. Most Americans have somehow come to accept the notion that you work until age 65 or even 62, then just sit home and “relax” until your death. How many people have you known or heard of, who die within a year or so of their retirement?
Paul Harvey never thought of ‘retirement” – why retire when you’re still extremely capable and when you enjoy what you do? Mr. Harvey was just as good, if not better at age 85 as he was at age 45. He didn’t make himself into a victim because of a date on a calendar. He didn’t allow the media and Pop-Culture to marginalize him; instead he produced and contributed to the very end. As America becomes grayer, the baby-boomers should look at Paul Harvey’s example, and so should future generations who through scientific and medical advances will continue to live longer and longer.
Listening to WABC Radio in New York without hearing from Paul Harvey will not be the same.