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Hugh Downs

Ohio native Hugh Downs, best known for his role as host of ABC's prime time weekly newsmagazine 20/20, presented Mount Union's spring Schooler Lecture on Tuesday, March 31, 1992.

Downs, who was born in Akron and grew up in Lima where he got his first broadcasting job, has had a distinguished career both broadcasting and as a humanitarian. In addition to his accomplishments in the communication field, he is chairman of the board of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF and is the author of a number of books on maturity and aging.

Downs, 74, began his broadcasting career as a radio announcer at WLOK in Lima at the age of 19. From there he went to WWJ in Detroit an WMAQ in Chicago. In between, he served in the U.S. Army. 

Known for his role on a number of different programs such as "Caesar's Hour," " The Jack Paar Show," and "Concentration," Downs earned his reputation for news reporting when he took over from John Chancellor the job of anchorman on the "Today" show in 1962. He served in that capacity and served as narrator-reporter for a number of documentaries and specials until 1971. For several years after leaving "Today", Downs pursed several interests including writing, teaching and consulting. In 1981 he earned an Emmy Award for his work on the PBS program "Over Easy."