This is an online encyclopedia of personalities of Old Time Radio. It is designed for educational and entertainment purposes.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Bill Henry (1890-1970)

William Mellers Henry was born August 21, 1890, in San Francisco, California. As a boy, his family moved from San Francisco to Pasadena, where he became very attracted to the Tournament of Roses Parade. After graduating from Pasadena High School, he attended Occidental College and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. As soon as he graduated from Oxy, he was given a position with the Los Angeles Times as a sportswriter. By 1917, he became an editor. He had a daily column, "By the Way," and also covered covered movies, autos, and aeronautics. In 1922, he began on radio, eventually working to broadcast the Rose Bowl game in his home town of Pasadena.

Bill became known as a sportscaster with a friendly voice. He first worked at KHJ in Hollywood and then began sending his broadcasts to other stations. While this was going on, he never lost his affiliation with the Los Angeles Times.

He began covering the Olympics, beginning with the Los Angeles games in 1932. For that, he wrote solely for the Los Angeles Times and gave short reports on KHJ. KHJ was owned by the Don Lee Network, which was affiliated with CBS until 1937, when CBS bought KNX in Hollywood (the same time that Columbia Square was built). Because of this association with CBS, when the Los Angeles Times sent him to cover the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, Bill was commissioned by CBS to present a thirty minute report of the games for each day they were held. Very few recordings of these broadcasts still exist.

In World War II, Bill was sent to France and then to the South Pacific by the Los Angeles Times. For his time in the South Pacific, he became CBS Chief Correspondent there. NBC began to notice Bill's talents and hired him as a news analyst.

Bill continued all of his work with the Los Angeles Times and NBC until he died on April 4, 1970, at his home in Pasadena at the age of 79. The man never retired.


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