Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan


3/31/1915, New York, New York, USA



Birth Name

Henry Lerner Von Ost Jr.


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Before there was Howard Stern, there was Henry Morgan. No topic was too taboo to joke about, and no sponsor was too invaluable to insult. Everything and everyone was fair game. With a face for radio, he was given his own weekly television show, but after many reformatting…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Henry Morgan's radio broadcasts became so popular that Superman had to be moved to another time slot.

    • Henry was married twice. The first time was to Isobel Gibbs. A nasty divorce insued. Many years later, and after a long courtship, Henry married Karen Sorensen. They were still together at the time of his passing.

    • Henry Morgan:"I was an unloved child; neither parent ever molested me."

    • He appeared as the lead in a summer stock version of The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Westport County Playhouse in Connecticut in the late 1940s.

    • In 1983, the mat outside of his Manhattan apartment read "Go Away."

    • He taught a Graduate course in humor writing at Columbia University for two weeks.

    • He was known for his bow ties.

    • Appeared on the cover of TV Guide four times.

    • He smoked three packs of cigarettes a day.

    • Henry Morgan: If it is true that God created man, by now he surely has laughed himself to death.

    • In the 1950s, was listed in the book "Red Channels" as either a communist or friendly to communists. Though far from the truth, it made it difficult for his to find work.

    • Alan Jay Lerner, of the infamous team of Lerner & Lowe (who composed for Brigadoon, My Fair Lady and Gigi, to name a few), was a cousin.

    • While an announcer at WCAU in Philadelphia in the early 1930s, he added the names of station executives to the script to be broadcast about missing persons.

    • When a New York newspaper asked Henry Morgan to review his own film titled "So This is New York," he called it "so-so."

    • Famous quote: "People with insufficient personalities are fond of cats. These people adore being ignored."

    • During his radio career, Life Savers Candy dropped Morgan after he zapped them by accusing them of fraud for what amounted to hiding the holes in the famous lifesaving ring-shaped sweets.

    • There is an episode of To Tell the Truth where at the end, one of the fakers introduces himself as "Roger Von Ost, and I'm in the insurance business." Bud Collyer cocks his head to one side, as if trying to calculate why this name sounds so familiar.
      Bud Collyer: "'Von Ost' did you say?"
      Roger: "Yes."
      Bud: "Well isn't there a a, am I wrong, isn't there a famous name in show business? A"
      Roger: "He changed it."
      Bud: "Henry Morgan!"
      Roger: "That's right, he's my brother."
      Bud: "Your brother! Henry Morgan's brother!"

    • He was born Henry Lerner Von Ost, Jr.

  • Quotes

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  • The original "Bad Boy" of radio.

    Mere words cannot express my love and appreciation of Henry Morgan's life and career.

    In the 1940s, he had his own radio program, and routinely insulted his sponsors.

    I became obsessed with Mr. Morgan when I stumbled across "I've Got a Secret" late one night on the Game Show Network. That was about six years ago. His curmudgeonly ways mixed well with the boy next door charm of Bill Cullen, the slight flighty-ness of Betsy Palmer, and the beauty and seriousness of Bess Myerson.

    As with Oscar Levant, once I am past the level 1 stage, I will post trivia, quotes, and a more in depth biography of Mr. Morgan.

    I spent many years trying to track down Henry's widow, Karen, even contacting Karen's former employer, Merv Griffin. Mr. Griffin was kind enough to reply to my letter, but to my dismay, he had lost track of her after Henry's death in 1994.moreless