Announcer on Two for the Money
10/11/1920, Denver, Colorado, USA
Ralph Paul started his professional broadcasting career at the age of 16 at KVOD, Denver. At the time, he was the youngest person to ever have their own radio show. He loved radio and continued on the air during his last year at North High and on into his years at Denver University. After graduating from DU, Phi Beta Kappa, he could have written his own ticket and he did. WWII intervened and Ralph joined the AAF, then the Army-Air Force. He married and joined many others as a newlywed overseas. He served in the India-Burma Theater of Operations in Communications. After returning stateside and while still in the service, he worked broadcasting for KTSM in El Paso, Texas. His love of broadcasting had not diminished at all. The East Coast, "the place to be in broadcasting", kept calling Ralph. He headed east to Baltimore's WITH. That still wasn't New York, but close. Ralph finally landed a broadcast job at WOR in New York, and at last he was "home". That was in the late 40's. He wasn't yet 30. At WOR Ralph did news and whatever else he could just to be on the air in NY. "Strike it Rich" originated on CBS radio in 1947. Ralph landed "second banana/announcer" and started broadcasting with Warren Hull. Warren and Ralph were a team until 1958. That was "way back" when television was black/white. "Strike it Rich" was known for the two personalities and their heart line which rang when the contestant finished their down and out story. That line ("heart line") became a fad phrase of the 50's. Warren Hull had the knack of pointing to his "second banana" and Ralph's voice and face became well known. In addition to the on-air side of broadcasting, Ralph was very active in AFRA (American Federation of Radio Artists), later to become AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) AFL/CIO. His membership number was #5. He was on The Board of Directors many times and very active in health and welfare issues for artists. Ralph also was elected to The National Board of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and remained active for many years, a champion for the rights and benefits of artists. Ralph did announcing for many radio shows of the time, he was the host with Bess Meyerson of "Second Honeymoon", and also announced many TV shows, off camera. In addition to the television shows, Ralph was in demand for voice-overs and commercials. He was a long time spokesman for such clients as " Colgate-Palmolive", "Admiral", "Volkswagen" and many, many others. The list is too long to share here. Ralph also traveled with Vaughn Monroe's "Camel Caravan" as "warm up man" and Announcer. Even though Ralph was well known after the above shows, he is probably best remembered as being the announcer for "The Ed Sullivan Show". Ralph announced that show from October 11, 1959 to August, 1961, as alternate week lead announcer and Colgate-Palmolive spokesman. He was back on the show October 25, 1964 until it went off the air on June 6th, 1971. Many can almost hear that distinguishable voice..."LIVE, from the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway...the Ed Sullivan Show, brought to you by...or...AND herrrrre he is (pause)...ED...SULLIVAN". Often Ed would thank Ralph on camera and once Ed forgot his last name and stuttered through... "Ralph...uh... Ralph, well thank you Ralph". That was Ed. During the run of the Sullivan Show, Ralph continued doing commercials, personal appearances, hosting, etc. He also taped 31 programs from March 26, 1961 - November 5, 1961 of "What's My Line" as regular weekly show announcer & voice of Kellogg's billboards and 31 bumpers. "The Ed Sullivan Show" had it's last broadcast in June of 1971. It was indeed the end of an era. The next phase of Ralph's life was on the horizon. Ralph, his bride of 3 years, son and infant daughter moved to Amityville, Long Island, NY the summer of 1971. He chose Amityville as he had heard it was a great place to live. He heard right. They moved to Amityville because the commute from Greenwich, CT was impossible. Ralph had been hired as the "Director of Radio and Television" at Nassau Community College on Long Island. The radio station WHPC (We Help People Communicate) was still in it's infancy. They welcomed someone with Ralph's expertise and the degree he had earned in Education many years before at DU, finally came to serve him well. As time went on, a college television station was developed to enhance the media program. Many students from Nassau went from college directly into broadcasting or related fields. Ralph was very proud of that statistic. Ralph's pleasures in his life aside from family, were fly fishing (you can't take Colorado out of the man), wilderness camping in New York's Adirondacks, golf (he always said "my handicap is my putter", salt water fishing, Broadway Shows, politics (there was no way one could sway him from his political beliefs), community (he owned, with his wife, an Amityville business called "The Village Knotter" a 70's macramé shop and later, "Paul Family Day Care" NYS licensed, to care for and teach children from infant to 12. He and his wife were commended by the Suffolk County Executive for 25 years service to Suffolk's children). The kids just loved him. Ralph also was involved locally in the schools, Cub Scout Pack 2, " The Amityville Club" and a member of Saint Paul's Lutheran Church. Ralph retired from Nassau in 1983 due to failing health. He died November 28, 1987, at the age of 67 years 1 month and 17 days. Very young in this day and age. As per his request, he died at home where he had been an invalid the previous 4 years. Ralph is survived by his wife, Roberta Paul (a native of Waterbury CT)(firstname.lastname@example.org); daughters Eileen and Robin; sons Martin, Steven and Ken, daughter-in-law Joyce, son-in-law Richard and grandchildren, Joshua, Chelsea, Geoffrey and Sarah. He was predeceased by his first wife Betty, the mother of Eileen and Martin. He was also predeceased by his father, Ralph Paul, Sr. who as a Denver fireman authored the training manuals used by that fire department for many years. Ralph had a favorite spot in the Adirondacks where he ALWAYS caught beautiful trout. No one else in the family could land one there. His ashes were scattered along the Moose River in the northwest Adirondacks on February 11, 1988.moreless
Ralph D. Paul, Jr.
Denver, Colorado, USA