Winchell, Walter

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Winchell, Walter,

1897–1972, journalist and broadcaster, b. New York City as Walter Winchel. He performed in vaudeville, and adopted a marquee's misspelling of his surname. After serving two years in the navy, he returned to performing and began writing theater news and gossip for Vaudeville News (1922). He wrote a show-business column for the New York Evening Graphic (1924–29), then moved to the Daily Mirror (1929–63); he also had a weekly radio program from the 1930s to early 50s. His opinionated broadcasts and columns won him admirers and critics. Originally a supporter of F. D. Roosevelt, he used his columns and radio shows in the 1950s to further Joseph R. McCarthyMcCarthy, Joseph Raymond,
1908–57, U.S. senator from Wisconsin (1947–57), b. near Appleton, Wis. He practiced law in Wisconsin and became (1940) a circuit judge. He served with the U.S. marines in the Pacific in World War II, achieving the rank of captain.
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's sensational exploitation of the public's fear of Communism. Winchell is credited with originating the cult of celebrity gossip in the United States.


See biographies by B. Thomas (1971), H. Klurfeld (1976), M. Herr (1990), and N. Gabler (1994).

Winchell, Walter (b. Winchel)

(1897–1972) journalist; born in Chicago. Father of the newspaper gossip column, which he pioneered in the 1920s along with many slangy neologisms, Winchell also was a familiar voice on radio, from 1929 through the mid-1950s, with his staccato delivery punctuated by the sound of teletype keys.
References in periodicals archive ?
She was like a benevolent Hedda Hopper or Walter Winchell.
Richard's anecdotes relating his helping Daddy put in and, take care of, the annual vegetable garden, and his making a bad blunder concerning a red pepper fresh from that garden, as well as tug of war grudge match, sitting as a family near the radio to listen to Walter Winchell announcing the end of WW2, and, when one money scheme ends in tragedy, an alternative is hurriedly hatched; are assured to appeal to lads aged 11 and 12 years and to the generation who were themselves kids growing up and playing outside without TV and hand held game devices during the 1940s and 50s here in the US.
He covers the columnists who tracked their adventures and misadventures--Cholly Knickerbocher and Walter Winchell who took the low road, and the classy Lucius Beebe, who took the high road.
Sites include the Village speakeasies where Mae socialized and bent elbows with Texas Guinan, Walter Winchell, Jack Dempsey, George Raft, and Barney Gallant; significant theatres; court rooms where Mae and Texas fought City Hall; and off-beat addresses that made an impact.
Radio broadcaster Walter Winchell warned parents about the shots, and as a result, doctors in Washington, DC, canceled a first round of inoculations because of parents' concerns.
But they like to read about it the same as when Walter Winchell went to the Stork Club and Dorothy Kilgallen went to El Morocco, in the old days.
He describes Baker's famous 1951 contretemps with the veteran journalist Walter Winchell over Winchell's tacit endorsement of discrimination when he, a bystander, failed to support her charge that her party was not served promptly at New York's then-fashionable Stork Club.
In fact, the radio and newspaper gos sip Walter Winchell dubbed him the Thief of Bad Gags.
In 1949, Walter Winchell wrote: "(Red) Smith was asked if writing a daily column was a difficult task.
The book's 20 or so thumbnail profiles include such predictable characters as "Gentleman" Jimmy Walker, Lucky Luciano, Walter Winchell, David Sarnoff, Dorothy Parker, Henry Luce, Bessie Smith, Babe Ruth, and Scott Fitzgerald.
According to one biography, Porter and friends planted newspaper items about the fictitious nouveau riche social-climbers in a prank the composer eventually confessed to Walter Winchell and society columnist Cholly Knickerbocker.
WALTER WINCHELL DID NOT LIKE President Harry Truman, and the feeling was mutual.