TV Icon Art Linkletter Dies

By Eric S. Page
|  Wednesday, May 26, 2010  |  Updated 3:49 PM PDT
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Art Linkletter, a TV icon of the '50s and '60s who had strong ties to San Diego, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles.
   
The broadcasting icon, who was 97 at the time of his death, got his first taste of broadcasting while attending what was then San Diego State College in the early '30s. Officials from San Diego State released a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

"Art Linkletter was a man devoted to education with a passion to share all he's learned over his incredible lifetime," said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. "We are very fortunate to have had so many years to benefit from his great talent, sense of humor and keen insight. He will truly be missed."

Linkletter received an honorary doctoral degree from SDSU in 1998 and addressed students at a commencement ceremony that same year. He was named SDSU's Alumnus of the Year in 1980 and elected to the Aztec Hall of Fame in 1990.

Linkletter hosted the popular shows "People Are Funny" and "House Party," which was one of the longest-running variety shows in the history of television. "House Party" debuted on radio in 1944 and was seen on CBS from 1952 to 1969. Its best-known feature was a daily interview with schoolchildren.   
   
Linkletter collected sayings from the children into the book "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which sold millions of copies.

Linkletter was married to wife Lois for nearly 75 years.   
 

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