One of the first and most memorable juvenile adventure shows, Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy was created in Chicago by the advertising agency Blackett-Sample-Hummert and writer Robert Hardy Andrews. Broadcasting the show from WBBM/Chicago, CBS launched Jack Armstrong on July 31, 1933.
The show centered on Hudson High School student Jack Armstrong and his friends Billy and Betty Fairfield. From 1933 to 1950, the trio joined Billy and Betty’s Uncle Jim for a series of globe-trotting adventures. During the 1950-51 season, Jack became a government agent and the show was renamed Armstrong of the SBI.
Sponsored for many years by Wheaties, Jack Armstrong transformed the “Breakfast of Champions" into a major marketing phenomenon. Uncommon objects which figured into the show’s current storyline would likely be offered as a "premium" to listeners who mailed in a dime and a Wheaties box top.
Six different actors played the title role of Jack Armstrong, including Jim Ameche (1933-38) and Charles Flynn (1939-43 and 1944-51). The program's best-known announcer was legendary Chicago voice Franklyn MacCormack, who delivered his commercials with the help of an a cappella quintet.
Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.