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Television legend Sonny Fox has been the talk of the town lately. The eighty-seven-year-old, Brooklyn-born Emmy winner—who produced the PBS series featured in our box set The Golden Age of Television—has been making the rounds in the New York area to discuss his wildly entertaining new memoir, But You Made the Front Page! Wonderama, Wars, and a Whole Bunch of Life, appearing everywhere from the Paley Center for Media (in conversation with Whoopi Goldberg, as pictured above) to the morning TV show Good Day New York to the Westport Public Library. And tomorrow night, October 23, you can watch him discuss his colorful career at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles; the sold-out event will be streaming live at Emmys.com.
We’re thrilled to be able to tip our hat to this World War II POW turned broadcasting pioneer, whose multifaceted history in the industry spans radio (including working for Candid Microphone, an audio precursor to the iconic Candid Camera, and serving as a war correspondent for Voice of America), television hosting gigs (including on The $64,000 Challenge and the long-running and hugely popular children’s program Wonderama), and executive positions like chairman of the board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and vice president of children’s programming for NBC.
For baby boomers, Fox’s greatest claim to fame is undoubtedly Wonderama, which he hosted from 1959 to 1967. In a blurb for the new book, Goldberg says, “Sunday mornings as a kid meant two things: I had to go to church and I had to watch Sonny Fox and Wonderama.” Among the show’s illustrious guests was Robert F. Kennedy, who stopped by to have a sober talk with a group of remarkably well-behaved grade-schoolers, one of whom asked, “Senator Kennedy, how did you feel when you were hit with eggs in Latin America?” Check it out below.