Paar, Jack (Harold)(1918– ) television host; born in Canton, Ohio. He quit school at age 16 and began working as a radio announcer in the Midwest. In the U.S. Army in World War II he entertained with service shows in the South Pacific. After the war he had some minor movie roles and then began to appear as host of a series of radio and television shows. In 1957 he was assigned to host the National Broadcasting Company's Tonight show, and he proved so successful that it was renamed the Jack Paar Show (1958–62). A natural conversationalist and interviewer, with a roster of favorite guests, he was known for his feuds on and off camera. Tiring of the daily grind, he retired and bought a local Maryland television station, and returned only briefly (1973) with a weekly television show.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.