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Remembering Broadcast Legend Paul Harvey


Americans already heard the news this past weekend. Radio newscaster Paul Harvey died at age 90. But his specialty was never breaking the news - it's what he did with it.

PAUL HARVEY: Good morning, Americans. First, we have one item of unfinished business. Yesterday, we learned that a riding lawnmower had exploded in Jasper, Alabama. The rider and his dog were killed - it was a bomb.

INSKEEP: That's Paul Harvey's style - start with the ordinary person, tell a story and remember the power of silence. We're hearing several examples of his style from a single ordinary day in his long career.

HARVEY: One of our spacecraft, between the orbits of Earth and Mars, came within less than 15 miles of colliding with an asteroid - on purpose.

INSKEEP: The newscast was called Paul Harvey News and Comment. The comment would come in a snap at the end.

HARVEY: Obituaries include Marguerite Culleman(ph) at 94. Marguerite Culleman was a theatre critic in the days when that profession was constructive. Page two: Newsweek magazine, in a...

INSKEEP: The comment was often conservative, like this little swipe at the UN.

HARVEY: New member of the United Nations this morning, Tonga - tiny South Pacific island with a total population of less than 100,000. But in the U.N. General Assembly it'll have a vote as big as ours.

INSKEEP: What redeemed Paul Harvey, even for those might have disagreed with him, was his focus on the human and the absurd, like the gas station owner who couldn't sell chewing gum for 10 cents each. Sales picked up when he altered the price.

HARVEY: The sign that used to say 10 cents each, now offered 10 for a $1.25. Should I run that by once more? The sign that used to say 10 cents each, now says 10 for $1.25. Man, you think about it. Paul Harvey, good day.

INSKEEP: Paul Harvey's long career was a reminder of the simple power of one person telling a story to another.


INSKEEP: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.