Ralph Edwards was born on Friday, June 13, 1913.
Edwards began his broadcasting career at 15, working as writer, actor and announcer for KROW/Oakland. While attending the University of California at Berkeley, he worked as actor, announcer, producer, writer and sound effects man at KTAB/Oakland. After graduation, Edwards hitchhiked to New York and became a CBS staff announcer.
In 1940, Edwards created Truth or Consequences. Based on a popular parlor game of Edwards’ youth, contestants were asked a question and forced to “pay the consequences”—in the form of an outlandish stunt—for a wrong answer. Participants on Truth or Consequences found themselves doing everything from dressing in baby clothes to washing elephants, while Edwards asked his listeners “Aren’t we devils?” The show quickly became radio’s top-ranked audience participation show and ran on NBC until 1956.
Edwards was also known as the creator and host of This is Your Life, which presented “the complete life story of a living American” every week. The show ran on radio from 1948 to 1950. Both Truth or Consequences and This Is Your Life enjoyed success on television.
Ralph Edwards died on November 16, 2005.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.