Jay Stewart was one of that pool of radio performers whose careers continued to prosper in the new medium of television. His voice could be heard on various game shows for more than three decades.
But he started as a saxophone player at Butler University. After graduating Sigma Chi, Stewart pursued a radio career. His first job was at WBOW in Terre Haute, Indiana. When he moved to WLW in Cincinnati, he teamed in radio with Beverly Barnes.
When they moved to Los Angeles in 1943, Jay spent virtually all his waking hours in broadcasting. The results spoke for themselves, in radio and television. Many would hear Jay's voice as the announcer for various game shows.
But it was for Let's Make a Deal that Stewart landed his most enduring persona. It was commonplace to watch ABC during the day and hear Stewart's opening gambit:
"These people, dressed as they are, come from all over the United States to make deals here at the Marketplace of America, Let's Make a Deal!"
In addition to serving for Stefan Hatos and Monty Hall (the producers of Let's Make a Deal), Stewart also announced game shows for producers Reg Grundy, Jack Barry, and Dan Enright.
Several factors contributed to his suicide in 1989. He suffered from severe depression. He also had been suffering from chronic back pain for years. And he never got over the sudden death of his daughter a few months before.