Johnny Carson


Age: 79

Summary: beloved host of NBC-TV's The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992 who started in show business as a magician at the age of 14 as "The Great Carsoni", who worked in local radio and TV in Nebraska before moving to L.A. in 1950 and was one of TV's wealthiest stars by the mid-1960's but still retained his Midwestern down-to-earth manner, who is credited with launching the careers of countless comedians including his eventual Tonight Show successor Jay Leno and fellow talk show host David Letterman, who won four consecutive Emmy awards in the 1970's and received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1992 but was celebrated with a prestigious Kennedy Center Honor for career achievement in 1993 and left the game on top, withdrawing into a quiet retirement that suited his private nature and refusing furthur involvement in show business.

Cause of Death: Emphysema

Born: October 23, 1925

Died: January 23, 2005

Los Angeles, California