Cavett, (Richard) Dick(1936– ) television host; born in Gibbon, Nebr. Originally a television comedy writer, he hosted ABC's This Morning in 1968, taking over ABC television's late night show (1969–74). Despite critical acclaim, he ran third in the ratings behind Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin, which resulted in less and less frequent airings of the show. Subsequently he attracted a loyal following with The Dick Cavett Show on WNET, New York City's Public television station (1977–82). While making commercials and occasional theater appearances, he joined the roster of evening talkshow hosts on General Electric's cable channel, CNBC (1989).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.