Birth: October 23, 1925
Death: January 23, 2005
Los Angeles, Ca
Burial Location: Cremated, Ashes Given To Family
Biography: was born in Corning, Iowa, but moved with his family to nearby Norfolk, Nebraska when he was eight years old. It was in Norfolk, where he lived until he was inducted into the US Navy in 1943, that he started his show business career. In 1962, Carson was chosen by NBC to succeed the controversial Jack Paar and his "The Jack Paar Tonight Show". His popularity with the late-night audience became so great, and the income from advertising on his show so profitable that, in 1967, NBC had to lure Johnny back to "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) after a walkout with a three-year contract guaranteeing him a minimum of $4 million.
Aside from his banter with celebrities, he amused his audience for 30 years with broadly played skit comedy by his "Mighty Carson Players" and his spoof clairvoyant "Carnac the Magnificent". A liberal in the increasingly liberal age of the 1960s and 1970s, so powerful were his opening monologues that by the early 1970s, he could actually affect society at large outside of the pop culture realm. Carson, who was suffering from emphysema and had quadruple bypass surgery in 1999, died peacefully at the age of 79 on the morning of Sunday, January 23, 2005, surrounded by his family and friends. In terms of career longevity, popularity, peer respect and impact on the medium, Carson ranks with Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason as one of the greatest stars of television.