Paul Harvey, who was 90 when he died on Saturday, left more than “footprints on the sands of time”; indeed, this radio legend left a sound bite that will echo through the ages.
Harvey loved telling stories about people, especially famous people whose modest beginnings and early disappointments offered no hint of the success awaiting them down the road.
It was a staple of his “Paul Harvey, News and Comment” broadcasts, which, for more than half a century, were perennially ranked among America’s most popular shows.
Like James Earl Jones, he had an immediately recognizable voice that was entirely his own, unlike any other, perfectly suited for his calling.
He had an approach that was disarmingly homespun, “sitting at a typewriter, painting pictures,” then reading those pictures over the air with a folksiness that endeared him to millions.
The format never varied. He would hook his listeners with a fascinating account of someone’s struggle up the ladder, then, after a dramatic pause, stun them with the identity of that struggler.
“And now,” he would conclude, caressing each syllable, “you know the rest of the story.”
It became his signature line, but there was a lot more to it than showbbiz.
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