July 17, 1912 – Radio and Television Personality, and Disney Legend Art Linkletter is Born
“Things work out best for the people who make the best of the way things work out.”
On July 17, 1912, Arthur Gordon Linkletter was born as Gordon Arthur Kelly in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Abandoned at only a few weeks old, he was adopted by Mary and Fulton Linkletter. At age five, his family moved to San Diego, California, and after graduating from San Diego High School, he rode the trains and did odd jobs around the country. He would then attend San Diego State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in teaching, but would end up working as a radio announcer. This humble beginning in radio led to a full-fledged career in announcing, including the shows People Are Funny (which became a television program in 1954), Art Linkletter’s House Party, and Kids Say the Darndest Things. A friend of Walt’s, Linkletter offered his services to host the live broadcast of the opening of Disneyland in 1955, as well as those of his friends Ronald Reagan and Bob Cummings. On the park’s 50th anniversary, Linkletter opened the celebrations for the “Happiest Homecoming on Earth.” Known for his work ethic, good nature, and philanthropy, he was awarded with several honorary degrees throughout his life, as well as a National Humanities Medal and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2005, for his work in promoting Disneyland, Linkletter was awarded as a Disney Legend. In 2010, Linkletter passed away in his Los Angeles home at the age of 97.