Winchell, Walter

orig. Walter Winchel

born April 7, 1897, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died Feb. 20, 1972, Los Angeles, Calif.

U.S. journalist and broadcaster.

He entered vaudeville at age 13 and eventually began contributing tidbits to the Vaudeville News. Later, as a full-time gossip columnist, he moved to the New York Daily Mirror, where his widely syndicated column appeared until 1963. He had a weekly radio program from 1932 until the early 1950s. A prolific phrasemaker, he was noted for his slangy Broadway idiom. His opinionated news reports brought him a massive audience and great influence from the 1930s through the 1950s. He served as the unseen narrator of the television drama series The Untouchables (1959–63).

* * *

▪ American journalist
original name  Walter Winchel  
born April 7, 1897, New York City
died Feb. 20, 1972, Los Angeles
 U.S. journalist and broadcaster whose newspaper columns and radio broadcasts containing news and gossip gave him a massive audience and much influence in the United States in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s.

      Winchell was raised in New York City, and when he was 13 he left school to go into vaudeville with Eddie Cantor and George Jessel. Then he teamed with a singer named Rita Greene (whom he later married and still later divorced) as Winchel and Greene. During this period an extra L was added to his name by accident on a theatre marquee. After two years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War I, he returned to the Winchell and Greene act. Quick-witted and inquisitive, Winchell rapidly learned personal and family background and gossip about others with him on the vaudeville circuit, and he took to posting such intelligence, neatly typed and punctuated and with often far-fetched puns, on theatre bulletin boards. One of these documents reached the publisher of Vaudeville News, and he became its Western correspondent. This evolved into a full-time job in 1927, and Winchell's career as a gossip columnist was launched. In 1924 he was given a show-business column, “On-Broadway,” in the New York Evening Graphic, which he conducted for five years. He moved to the New York Daily Mirror, where his widely syndicated column appeared until 1963. He introduced a weekly radio program in 1932, continuing it until the early 1950s. Winchell's news reports, always very opinionated, brought him both admirers and detractors. But the reports interested millions of people, as did the Broadway idiom in which he wrote and spoke. He was viewed by authorities as one of the nation's most prolific phrase-makers.

      In 1940 Winchell broke the news of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to seek a third term. By the 1950s he had turned arch-conservative, supporting Sen. Joseph McCarthy (McCarthy, Joseph R.) and noting with approval the increased blacklisting of actors, writers, and technicians in radio and television on suspicion of being Communists or Communist sympathizers. He was the friend or acquaintance of hundreds of celebrities. He served as the unseen narrator of the television drama series “The Untouchables” from 1959 to 1963.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • WINCHELL, WALTER — (1897–1972), U.S. newspaper columnist. Winchell, a New Yorker by birth, began contributing theatrical gossip to the house organ of a theater chain when he was a young vaudeville actor. This led the New York Graphic to give him his own column, On… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Winchell, Walter — (1897 1972)    Born in New York as Walter Wincheles, he worked as a child actor in vaudeville with Gus Edwards s kid act. Winchell later became the most powerful of the Broadway newspaper columnists. In 1922, Winchell worked as a reporter for The …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Winchell, Walter — (1897–1972)    US gossip columnist. Winchell’s syndicated columns in the New York Daily Mirror from 1929 onwards, with their disclosures on society, show business, politics and crime, were eagerly read by 35 million readers …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Winchell,Walter — Win·chell (wĭnʹchəl), Walter. 1897 1972. American journalist whose newspaper column “On Broadway” (1924 1963) and radio newscasts (1932 1953) reported on entertainment and politics. * * * …   Universalium

  • Winchell, Walter — (1897 1972)    American journalist. He was a vaudeville performer and later contributed gossip material to Billboard and Vaudeville News. Later he worked for the New York Evening Graphic and the New York Daily Mirror. He also had a weekly radio… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Walter Winchell — [Walter Winchell] (1897–1972) a popular US radio and newspaper journalist in the 1930s and 1940s. He began his radio broadcasts with the phrase ‘Good evening, Mr and Mrs America and all the ships at sea’. His style of reading the news was very… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Walter Winchell — Infobox Person name=Walter Winchell thumb caption= birth date=birth date|1897|4|7|mf=y birth place=New York City, New York, U.S. death date=death date and age|1972|2|20|1897|4|7|mf=y death place=Los Angeles, California, U.S.Walter Winchell (April …   Wikipedia

  • Walter Winchell — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Winchell. Walter Winchell en 1947 Walter Winchell est un acteur, journaliste et orateur américa …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Walter — /vahl teuhr/ for 1; /wawl teuhr/ for 2, 3, n. 1. Bruno /brooh noh/, (Bruno Schlesinger), 1876 1962, German opera and symphony conductor, in U.S. after 1939. 2. Thomas Ustick /yooh stik/, 1804 87, U.S. architect. 3. a male given name. * * * (as… …   Universalium

  • Walter Winchell — en 1947. Walter Winchell (n. 7 de abril de 1897 f. 20 de febrero de 1972) fue un periodista estadounidense, considerado como el inventor de la columna de sociedad actual. Biografía …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.