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Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan.jpg
Sullivan in 1955
Edward Vincent Sullivan

(1901-09-28)September 28, 1901
Died October 13, 1974(1974-10-13) (aged 73)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Television host, writer
Years active 1932–1973
Spouse(s) Sylvia (m. 1930–1973, her death)

Edward Vincent "Ed" Sullivan (September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974) was an American entertainment writer and television host. He was best known as the presenter of the television variety show The Ed Sullivan Show. The program was shown on television from 1948 to 1971 (twenty-three years). It was one of the longest-running variety shows in United States history.

In 1996, Ed Sullivan was #50 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time".

Early life

Sullivan was born in New York City, New York. His mother was Elizabeth F. Sullivan (née Smith) and his father was Peter Arthur Sullivan. He was of Irish descent. Sullivan used to be a boxer. He began his media work as a sportswriter for The New York Evening Graphic.

Personal life

Sullivan was engaged to swimmer Sybil Bauer, but she died of cancer in 1927 at the age of 23. He married Sylvia Weinstein on April 28, 1930. She died on March 16, 1973. They had a daughter, Betty Sullivan. Betty married the Ed Sullivan Show's producer, Bob Precht.

Sullivan reportedly called Sylvia after every program to hear what she thought about it.

Sullivan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Boulevard.


In September 1974, Sullivan had x-rays done. They showed that Sullivan had esophageal cancer. Only his family was told about it. Because the doctors did not give Sullivan a lot of time, the family chose not to tell him about it. Sullivan thought that his illness was because of ulcers. He died five weeks later, on October 13, 1974, at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital. 3,000 people went to his funeral. It was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York.

  • Leonard, John, The Ed Sullivan Age , American Heritage, May/June 1997, Volume 48, Issue 3
  • Nachman, Gerald, Ed Sullivan , December 18, 2006.
  • Maguire, James, Impresario: The Life and Times of Ed Sullivan, Billboard Books, 2006
  • Bowles, Jerry, A Thousand Sundays: The Story of the Ed Sullivan Show, Putnam, 1980
  • Barthelme, Donald, "And Now Let's Hear It for the Ed Sullivan Show!" in Guilty Pleasures, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1974

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