Mr. Donahue used the television talk show format he pioneered in 1967 to interview world leaders, newsmakers, celebrities and people from all walks of life. What began as a local program launching the first audience participation talk show made DONAHUE a household word and American institution. The DONAHUE show has been honored with 20 Daytime Emmy Awards, including nine Emmys for “Outstanding Host.” In 1996, the Daytime Emmys presented Mr. Donahue with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to television journalism. Mr. Donahue is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame and recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., 21 December 1935. Educated at the University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., 1957. Married: 1) Marge Cooney, 1958 (divorced, 1975); children: Michael, Kevin, Daniel, Jim, Maryrose; 2) actress Marlo Thomas, 1980. Began career as announcer, KYW-TV and AM, Cleveland, 1957; bank check sorter, Albuquerque, New Mexico; news director, WABJ radio, Adrian, Michigan; morning newscaster, WHIO-TV, where interviews with Jimmy Hoffa and Billy Sol Estes were picked up nationally; hosted Conversation Piece, phone-in talk show, 1963-67; debuted The Phil Donahue Show, Dayton, Ohio, 1967, syndicated two years later; relocated to Chicago, 1974-85; host, Donahue, 1974-96; relocated to New York City, 1985.