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Art Linkletter

Art LinkletterAKA Arthur Gordon Kelly

Born: 17-Jul-1912
Birthplace: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died: 26-May-2010
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: TV Personality
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Kids Say the Darndest Things

Art Linkletter was abandoned as an infant, adopted and raised by a preacher. He first showed his entrepreneurial spirit by sorting through discarded lemons at a local fruit-packing plant, picking the least-obviously rotten fruit, and selling the produce door-to-door. He hosted House Party and People Are Funny both on radio and later on television, and is best remembered for his interviews with children, Kids Say the Darndest Things.

Linkletter's daughter Diane committed suicide in 1969, allegedly under the influence of LSD (the story that her father maintained). An autopsy revealed no drugs in Diane's system, but that didn't stop the "killed by LSD" story, and Linkletter quickly became one of America's most prominent spokesmen for the War on Drugs. He was appointed to President Nixon's National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse Prevention.

In his 90s, Linkletter served as National Chairman of USA Next, a group that promotes itself as "the conservative alternative to the liberal AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)." The organization accepted millions of dollars from large pharmaceutical companies, and hired most of the creative crew behind the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." USA Next purchased ads touting George W. Bush's early 2000s changes to the Medicare program.

Father: Fulton John Linkletter (adoptive)
Mother: Mary Metzler (adoptive)
Wife: Lois Foerster (m. 25-Nov-1935, two sons, three daughters)
Son: Arthur Jack Linkletter (b. 20-Nov-1937, d. 18-Dec-2007 lymphoma)
Daughter: Dawn Zweyer (b. 1-Dec-1939)
Son: Robert (b. 15-Oct-1944, d. auto accident)
Daughter: Sharon (b. 8-Aug-1946)
Daughter: Diane Linkletter (b. 31-Oct-1948, d. 4-Oct-1969 suicide by defenestration)

    High School: (San Diego, CA)
    University: San Diego State College

    Endorsement of Disneyland 1955
    Bohemian Grove
    Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity
    Daytime Emmy 2003
    National Humanities Medal 2002
    Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses 2003 (shared)
    Silver Buffalo 1982
    Naturalized US Citizen 1942
    Visited Disneyland on Opening Day
    Wedding: Edward Cox and Tricia Nixon (1971)
    Visited Disneyland 35th Anniversary (Jan-1990)
    Visited Disneyland 50th Anniversary (5-May-2005)
    Stroke Feb-2008

    People Are Funny Host (1954-61)

    The Snow Queen (1957)
    Champagne for Caesar (11-May-1950)

Author of books:
People Are Funny (1947, coloring book)
Kids Say The Darndest Things! (1957)
Secret World of Kids: How to Enjoy Your Children -- In Spite of Them (1959)
Confessions of a Happy Man: Art Linkletter's Own Story (1960, memoir)
Kids Still Say the Darndest Things (1961)
Kids Sure Rite Funny: A Child's Garden of Misinformation (1962)
Oops! Or; Life's Awful Moments (1967)
Linkletter Down Under (1968)
Drugs At My Door Step (1973)
How to Be A... Supersalesman (1974)
Women Are My Favorite People (1974)
Yes, You Can! How To Succeed in Business and Life (1979)
Hobo On the Way to Heaven (1980, memoir)
I Didn't Do it Alone (1980)
Public Speaking for Private People (1980)
Old Age Is Not for Sissies: Choices for Senior Americans (1988)

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