Currently alive, at 99 years of age.
US television host and broadcast journalist
1921 – Born Akron, OH
1938-1941 – Bluffton College, a Mennonite school in Bluffton, Ohio, and Wayne State University in
1943 – Downs served briefly in the U.S. Army and then joined the NBC radio network at WMAQ in Chicago as an announcer, where he lived until 1954.
1944 – Married Ruth Shaheen, son Hugh Raymond, daughter Dierdre Lynn
1945 – Downs made his first television news broadcast in September from the still experimental studio of WBKB-TV, a station then owned by the Balaban and Katz theater subsidiary of Paramount Pictures.
1954 – Downs moved to New York to accept a position as announcer for Pat Weaver’s The Home Show starring Arlene Francis. That program lasted until August, 1957.
1955-56 – attended Columbia University in New York City.
1956-57 – He was the announcer for Sid Caesar’s Caesar’s Hour for the season.
1957-1962 – Downs became a bona fide television "personality" as Jack Paar’s announcer on
The Tonight Show, Downs stayed with Paar all the way to 1962, and then shared hosting until Johnny Carson took over in October 1962.
1958-1969 – he concurrently began a run hosting the original version of the game show Concentration.
1962 to 1971 – He hosted NBC’s Today Show.
1975 – Documentary Nothing by Chance, he was executive producer and announcer.
1978 – ABC news TV show 20/20, a primetime news magazine program, until his retirement in 1999.
1990 – A published composer himself, Downs hosted the PBS showcase for classical music, Live from Lincoln Center to 1996.
holds record for most hours spent appearing on network television.