Keillor, (Gary Edward) Garrison(1942– ) radio host, writer; born in Anoka, Minn. Raised in a strictly religious home, he began hosting a morning music show for Minnesota Public Radio in 1968 and publishing fiction pieces in the New Yorker in 1969. With a voice as folksy and mesmerizing as an old-time preacher, he rode to fame on a public radio variety show, A Prairie Home Companion (1974–87), set in the imaginary Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon. After a break to concentrate on writing—he produced many fiction pieces and essays, some for the New Yorker, and a novel: WLT: A Radio Romance (1991)—he returned to public radio with another variety show, The American Radio Company (1989).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.