Bowes, Edward

(redirected from Major Bowes)

Bowes, Edward

(1874–1946) entrepreneur, radio impresario; born in San Francisco. He left school at age 13 and worked as an office boy. He built a flourishing real estate business that was temporarily ruined by the earthquake and fire of 1906. He married Margaret Illington, an actress, and they moved east to run theaters in Boston and New York City. He built the Capitol Theater in New York City, an early movie "palace," and in 1925 became the host of a popular radio program that had originated from there since 1922. In 1934, as manager of New York City's radio station WHN, he began "Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour," which offered potential stardom and a $10 stipend to contestants during the Great Depression. While he hosted this popular network radio program until 1945, his manner and expressions became known nationwide. He left most of his $4.5 million estate to charity.
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