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Who is Phil Donahue?
Phillip John Donahue was born on 21 December 1935, in Cleveland, Ohio USA, and is a film producer, writer and media personality, but perhaps still best known for creating and hosting his own “The Phil Donahue Show”, which was the first talk show to include audience participation.
The Net Worth of Phil Donahue
How rich is Phil Donahue? As of late-2018, sources estimate a net worth that is at $25 million, earned through success on television. He was known to focus on issues which divided political groups, tackling topics such as abortion and civil rights. All of his achievements have ensured the position of his wealth.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Phil was born into a middle class Catholic family, and he grew up in Centerville, Ohio, where he attended St. Edward High School, and was one its first graduating class members. After matriculating, he enrolled into the University of Notre Dame which is run by the Congregation of Holy Cross, which also ran his high school. He completed a degree in Business Administration in 1957.
Phil then started his career at KYW radio and television station located in Cleveland, which he served as a production assistant. One day, when one of the regular announcers failed to show up for work, he had his first opportunity to be an on-air announcer. He then briefly tried his hand at a banking career, but soon moved to the Michigan-based station WABJ to be a program director. Afterwards, he served as a stringer for “CBS Evening News”, and an anchor in the Ohio-based station WHIO-TV.
The Phil Donahue Show
Donahue’s next project would be an afternoon talk show for WHIO radio, which ran from 1963 to 1967, talking to various callers, including interviewing numerous high profile personalities, including John F. Kennedy, Johnny Carson and Malcolm X on his show. He then left WHIO and moved his program to television on WDTN (then WLWD) and called the program “The Phil Donahue Show”, which was initially aired through Crosley Broadcasting Corporation stations, but would later earn nationwide syndication. In 1974, he moved the show to Dayton, Ohio, and a decade later to New York City, so that he could be nearer to his wife.
The show would run for a total of 29 years, 26 of which were in syndication. The one hour daily show aired 7,000 times, the final in 1996 making it the longest continuous run of any syndicated talk show in the history of US broadcasting, meantime also serving as a contributor to “The Today Show”. His show aired throughout the Cold War and was responsible for the US-Soviet Space Bridge, the name for two television shows, one from the US and another from a Soviet city airing simultaneously, while audience members asked each other questions.
— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) June 25, 2017
Seven years after the end of his show and his announced retirement, Phil returned to television in 2002 to host the MSNBC show entitled “Donahue” which ran for a year before its cancellation. A memo from MSNBC was subsequently leaked which stated that he was fired because he opposed the imminent invasion of Iraq by the US; because of his opposition, he would become more of a difficulty during a time of war according to the memo.
However, he moved on to other projects, including serving as a co-director of the documentary film entitled “Body of War”, which tells the story of a disabled Iraq War veteran named Tomas Young and his struggle to make adjustments after the war.
Over the course of his career, Phil has been rewarded with 20 Emmy Awards, including 10 for Outstanding Talk Show Host, with his other 10 being for his work with “The Phil Donahue Show”. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award, and is an inductee to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.
For his personal life, it is known that Donahue married actress Marlo Thomas in 1980, best known for being the star of the sitcom entitled “That Girl”. Prior to their marriage, he was married to Margaret Cooney which lasted from 1958 to 1975, ending in divorce after they had five children. Despite being raised Roman Catholic, he was the first among television programs to reveal widespread child molestation perpetrated by Catholic priests, which caused a lot of controversy. While his television appearances have decreased since his ‘retirement’, he has appeared in several interviews. He was also a featured speaker in the Ralph Nader Breaking Through Power conference held in 2016 at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.