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The Dunninger the Mentalist Radio Programs

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The Billboard announces a Blue Network sustaining run of Dunninger's Telepathic Experiments in its September 11th 1943 issue.
The Billboard announces a Blue Network sustaining run of Dunninger's Telepathic Experiments in its September 11th 1943 issue.


Joseph Dunninger before the Blue Network mike
Joseph Dunninger before the Blue Network mike

1943 Sherwin Williams Cover the Earth


1943 Kem-Tone logo

WGCM spot ad for The Kem-Tone Miracle Show of January 12th 1944
WGCM spot ad for The Kem-Tone Miracle Show of January 12th 1944

June 8th 1945 spot ad for Rinso-sponsored 'The Dunninger Show'
June 8th 1945 spot ad for Rinso-sponsored 'The Dunninger Show'


Dunninger -- Crusader against phony ectoplasm

Background

Variously promoting himself as "The Master Mentalist," "The Amazing Dunninger," and "The Master Mind of Modern Mystery" over his sixty-year career, Joseph Dunninger initially launched himself in 1907 as an escape artist, much in the mold of the Great Houdini. Lithe, slim and capable of extraordinary contortions, Dunninger combined his extraordinary flexibility with years of early training picking all manner of locks and locking devices.

By 1910, Dunninger began specializing in mind-reading feats of legerdemain. Eschewing the more widely employed use of 'assistants' to help in his mind-reading demonstrations, his reputation began to exponentially expand. So secure was he in his talents, he launched several "$10,000 Challenges" over the course of his career:

  • $10,000 cash to anyone that could prove that he used confederates or assistants of any kind in demonstrating his mind-reading
  • $10,000 cash to anyone "who, with the aid of 'the spirit world.'could disclose the translation to secret coded messages entrusted to him by Harry Houdini and Thomas Edison"
  • $10,000 cash to anyone who could introduce him to a real ghost

Needless to say, no one ever collected on any of Dunninger's 'challenges--not publicly in any case. Touring both back and forth across America and around the world, Dunninger's fame--as well as his growing association with Magic legend, Harry Houdini--expanded his international fame to a level approaching that of Houdini himself. When Houdini died in 1926, Dunninger quickly subsumed the mantle of 'world's greatest mentalist,' along with many other contenders of the era--Howard Thurston and Harry Blackstone among them. When Howard Thurston himself passed away in 1936, Dunninger continued his brilliantly self-promoting ascension to levels rarely attained by 'mentalists' and magicians of the era.

Dunninger's genius in marketing himself kept him continually in the public eye. He wrote magazine articles for both the public and other magicians, as well as a growing output of pamphlets, books, and newspaper supplements throughout the era. Dunninger's bylines could be found in
Time, Life, Look, Reader's Digest, Vanity Fair, Popular Mechanics, SCIENCE and INVENTION, The Saturday Evening Post, True Detective, and Sphinx, among many others. And of course each new article prompted even more interest--and yet more articles.

Dunninger's books consistently became bestsellers within weeks. Soon commanding sizable fees for his appearances, he packed theaters, playhouses, stages and performance halls from coast to coast. Dunninger's performing style was also unique to the era--he typically sat on a stool or in a chair on the middle of the stage, with no more than a pad of paper and a pencil as 'tools.'

One of Dunninger's more mutually beneficial alliances of the era was with famed pulp fiction author Walter B. Gibson, who himself invented many widely used magic tricks as well as touring with and befriending Harry Houdini, Howard Thurston, and Harry Blackstone, as well as Dunninger. Indeed, it's been intimated that Joseph Dunninger was Walter B. Gibson's inspiration for The Shadow--both in pulp and over Radio.

Sherwin-Williams Paints

1927 Sherwin-Williams letterhead

Henry Alden Sherwin was born on September 27, 1842, in Baltimore, Vermont. His first job was in a local general store. In 1860, an uncle invited Henry to Cleveland, Ohio. He found employment with Freeman & Kellogg Co., a Cleveland dry goods store. Starting out as a clerk, two years later Sherwin had been promoted to bookkeeper. The young bookkeeper next moved to a wholesale grocery company by the name of Geo. Sprague & Co, where he became a partner, but soon left, apparently because he disliked the selling liquor.

By 1866, Sherwin had saved $2,000. He was offered employment with a bank, a partnership with a wholesale drug company, and a partnership in a wholesale paint business. Choosing the later, Sherwin became the newest partner in the Truman Dunham & Co. He stated years later, that Truman Dunham offered the least but "was the one which in my youthful strength and ambition gave promise of a future greater than the others". He also admitted that at the time he "did not realize what it would lead to". By 1869, Sherwin discovered that his partners were more interested in the manufacture of linseed oil than in the production of paint.

In February 1870, they dissolved the existing partnership and Sherwin, with an associate by the name of Osborn (who had been bookkeeper at Dunham & Co.) and Edward Williams, a Civil War veteran who was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Western Reserve College, each invested $15,000 for equal shares in what became "Sherwin-Williams & Co". Later that year they recruited and hired Sereno Peck Fenn as cashier and bookkeeper. The company prospered and in its first year reported sales of $422,390.97. In 2009, the company reported a decline in sales from the previous year, but ended up with $4.21 billion.

Sherwin was the President of Sherwin–Williams from 1870 to 1909, and chairman of the board until his death on June 26, 1916. He was buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.

Dunninger gains a foothold in Radio

The Blue Network aired a one-time broadcast of Joseph Dunninger on March 5th 1943, as an experiment in telephathy titled "The Master Mind of Mental Mystery." The Bilboard review of the one-off was encouraging enough to persuade The Blue Network to bring Dunninger to the air for an initial four weeks of broadcasts beginning September 12th 1943. A sustaining series, Dunninger's new program ultimatedly aired between September 12th and December 29th, before gaining a sponsor. Reportedly pre-recorded in New York, the series eventually found its way to as many as 70 Blue Network affiliate stations before it was picked up commercially.

Sherwin-Williams sponsors Dunninger for its Kem-Tone line

During mid-December of 1943, the Blue Network announced that they'd sold the series to Sherwin-Williams Paint of Cleveland, Ohio under an agreement to sponsor the series for as many as fifty-two weeks. The first Kem-Tone-sponsored program premiered on January 5th 1944 as The Kem-Tone Hour. Retaining much of the audience participation format of the 1943 series, Kem-Tone added three celebrity guest panelists to each program of the series, bringing more star-power to the commercial run.

Series Derivatives:

The Master Mind of Mental Mystery; Telepathic Experiments with Joseph Dunninger; Dunninger Mind Reader; Dunninger 'Master Mind' Reader; Joseph Dunninger Experiment; Dunninger; The Kemtone Miracle Show; The Kemtone Hour; What's On Your Mind?; The Dunninger Show;
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Panel Variety
Network(s): The Blue Network; ABC; MBS; NBC
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): KYW, Phildelphia: 43-03-05 [Spcl.] Mental Telepathy Experiment

Mutual: 44-05-15 [Aud.] What's On Your Mind?
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): [Sustaining Blue Network]: 43-09-12 01 Title Unknown

[Kem-Tone Blue Network]: 44-01-05 01 Guest Unknown

[Rinso NBC]: 45-06-08 01 Guest June Havoc

[Rinso NBC]: 46-06-04 01 Guest Lucille Ball
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): [Sustaining Blue Network]: 43-09-12 to 43-12-29; Blue Network; Seventeen, 30-minute programs; 6:30 Sundays, then 10:30 Sundays, then 9:00 Wednesdays

[Kem-Tone Blue Network]: 44-01-05 to 44-12-27; Blue Network; Fifty-two, 30-minute programs; 9:00 Wednesdays

[Rinso NBC]: 45-06-08 to 45-09-28; NBC; Seventeen, 30-minute programs; 10:00 Fridays

[Rinso NBC]: 46-06-04 to 46-06-25; NBC; Four, 30-minute programs; 8:00 Tuesdays

Syndication:
Sponsors: Sustaining; Sherwin-Williams [Kem-Tone Paint]; Rinso; Lifebuoy Soap; Beechnut Gum
Director(s): Ray Knight [Traveling Director--Blue Network]
Principal Actors: 1944 Run Guest Judges:
Benay Venuta, Singer, Edwin C. Hill, David Scholtz, Beatrice Kay, Roy Acuff, BG W.A. Danielson, Mrs Edward B. Fowler, Bert Lytell, Helen Menken, Mrs Bernard Bimbel, Joan Edwards, Barry Wood, John Kidde, Mrs Dorothy S. Thackrey, Arthur Murray, Lucy Monroe, Eleanor Steber, Irina Earonova, Richard Rodgers, Bea Wain, George McManus, John Winchell, Ruth Bryan Rohde, Vaughn Monroe, John Ray Carlson, Robert Ripley, Ginny Simms, Danton Walker, Jerry Wayne, Jean Muir, Vivian della Chiesa, Parks Johnson, Allen Reeder, Barry Farris, Marjorie Lawrence, COL John Stilwell, Barry Farria, Molly Berg, Bob Considine, Mrs William A Rotholtz, Frank Forrest, Dorothy Kilgallen, Shep Fields, Harry Brown, Irene Rich, Charles Revson, Dick Todd, Abel Green, Beatrice Fairfax, D.A. Trotter, "Senator" Ford, Harry Hershfield, Joe Laurie Jr., RADM L.C. Covell, CDR Jack Dempsey, Mary Small, CPT Ellis Reed-Hill, Aunt Daisy Basham, Mark Warnow, Fred Andrews, Evelyn Knight, Helen Jepson, Harold D. Hodgkinson, John Sebastian, Bennet Cerf, Cornel Wilde, Dolly Dawn, Constance Bennett, Joe Howard, Sigmund Spaeth, Anita Stewart, Irving Caesar, Claudia Morgan, Yvette, Commodore G.H. Mills, CPT J.M. Thornton, Marion Mann, Edwin McArthur, E.L. Schnadig, Ina Claire, Patricia Lynn, Carleton Young, Gloria Blondell, Lynn Martin, J.B. Adone, Mrs Dennis G. Colwell, M.B. Miller, Louise McKay, Virginia Haskins, Harry Conover, Don McLaughlin, Kathleen Winsor, Guy Lombardo, Victoria Cordova, Fred Gehle, J. Gordon Lippencott, Maria Kramer, Eleanor Bowers, Len Gleson, Ted Steele, Breuchig, William Fawcett, Harry Sosnik, Mary Ashworth

1945 Run Guest Judges:
LT William D. Robertson, June Havoc, Daniel D. Mich, Wendy Barrie, Ted Malone, Ida Lupino, Thomas J. Deegan, Mitzi Green, William A. Benson, Jessica Dragonette, Joseph Keho, Carol Bruce, Harry S. Berk, Paula Stone, George Lait, Dorothy Kirsten, John Wildberg, Gypsy Rose Lee, Carl W. Dipman, A.F. Guckenberger, Ruth Terry, LT Orrin Tucker, G. Edward Pendray, Evelyn Keyes, Robert H. Morse, Jane COwl, John Cavanaugh, Vivian della Chiesa, Claudia Morgan, Norman A. Schuele, Arleen Whalen, Byron Harvey Jr., Diane Courtney, Arthur Motley, Amos 'n' Andy

1946 Run Guest judges:
Lucille Ball, Glenda Farrell, Simon C. Gershey, Earle Sande, Marilyn Maxwell, Joe Mackey, Craig Wood, Jinx Falkenburg, Tex McCrary, Willard K. Denton
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s):
Author(s): None
Writer(s)
Music Direction: 1944 Run: Mitchell Ayers and His Orchestra

1945 Run: Mitchell Ayers and His Orchestra; Anita Ellis, Marilyn Day [Vocalists]

1946 Run: Dave Grupp and His Orchestra; Laura Linwood [Vocalist]
Musical Theme(s):
Announcer(s): 1944 Run: Jackson Beck, George Weist, Glenn Riggs, Don Lowe, Roger Kupp

1945 Run: Bill Slater [Emcee]

1946 Run: Bill Slater [Emcee]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
92
Episodes in Circulation: 20
Total Episodes in Collection: 11
Provenances:

Review of March 5th 1943 one-off audience participation format special over KYW, Phildelphia
Review of March 5th 1943 one-off audience participation format special over KYW, Phildelphia

Review of September 12th 1943 Dunninger program premiere over WJZ, New York
Review of September 12th 1943 Dunninger program premiere over WJZ, New York

The Billboard.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

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The Dunninger the Mentalist Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
43-03-05
[Spcl.]
Mental Telepathy Experiment
N
[One-off audience participation format; KYW, Phildelphia]

43-09-05
--
--
43-09-05 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--The Fifth Year--Play
43-09-12
1
Title Unknown
N
43-09-12 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-09-19
2
Title Unknown
N
43-09-19 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger

43-09-20 Long Beach Independent

HOUDINI HAD
PROBLEMS EVEN
AS YOU 'N' I

The story is told that the great Houdini and Dunninger, mental telepathist currently heard over the KECA network on Sundays at 1:30 p.m., had dinner one frosty winter evening, after which they lambasted phony mediums. They got them-selves out of t he restaurant, by purely natural means, of course, and proceeded to Dunninger's car.
It was discovered by the pair of mental wizards that Dunninger
had locked his car, inadvertently leaving the keys inside. To complicate matters, a cold rain had coated the lock with ice.
Houdini and Dunninger, who between them probably knew more about opening locks than the cleverest crooks, produced all the lock-picking and ice-breaking instruments they had on hand, and they worked feverishly over the door for an hour, without success.
Then, weary and cold, the master magicians finally discovered a unique solution to their problem.
They smashed the window.

43-09-26
3
Title Unknown
N
43-09-26 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-10-03
4
Title Unknown
N
43-10-03 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-10-10
5
Title Unknown
N
43-10-10 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-10-17
6
Title Unknown
N
43-10-17 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-10-24
7
Title Unknown
N
43-10-24 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger

43-10-29 Cumberland Evening Times
Joseph Dunninger, who conducts a mind-reading program on the Blue, expects to have 45 blind persons as guests for his Sunday afternoon show at 4:30. He planes to use several of them as subjects for his tests.
43-10-31
8
Title Unknown
N
[From Barbizon-Plaza Hotel, New York ]

43-10-31 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-11-07
9
Title Unknown
N
43-11-07 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-11-14
10
Title Unknown
N
43-11-14 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-11-21
11
Title Unknown
N
43-11-21 New York Times
6:30-WJZ--Telepathic Experiments, With Joseph Dunninger
43-11-28
12
Title Unknown
N
[Show moves from 6:30 to 10:30]

43-11-28 New York Times
10:30-WJZ--Joseph Dunninger Experiment
43-12-05
13
Title Unknown
N
43-12-05 New York Times
10:30-WJZ--Joseph Dunninger Experiment

43-12-05 Chicago Daily Tribune
11:30--WENR--Joseph Dunninger, the mind reader. [recording].
43-12-12
14
Title Unknown
N
43-12-11 The Billboard

Sherwin-Williams
Buys Dunninger;
Takes Fitch Spot

NEW YORK, Dec. 4.--The Dunninger show goes commercial January 5, bankrolled by Sherwin-Willilam's Kem-Tone and handled by the Warwick & Legler ad agency. The show which started experimentally on Philadelphia's KYW in March has been on the Blue Network since September. The show was sold by Dan Tuthill, of NCAC. The Mentalist's 70 stations will be upped on the sponsor pitch to 162. His time slot will be shifted December 15 from 10:30-11 p.m. Sundays to 9-9:30 Wednesdays, filling the vacancy left by the cancellation of the Fitch Songwriters' Bandwagon show.

43-12-12 New York Times
10:30-WJZ--Joseph Dunninger Experiment

43-12-15
15
Title Unknown
N
[Moves to 9:00-9:30, Wednesdays in New York; replaces canceled Fitch Songwriters' Bandwagon]

43-12-15 New York Times
9:00-WJZ--Dunninger, Mentalist

43-12-15 Ogden Standard Examiner
7:00 p.m.--KUTA--Dunninger

43-12-15 Lowell Sun
Dunninger, Master Mentalist,
premiere: WHDH, 9 to 9:30

43-12-15 Clearfield Progress
BLUE--7:30 Lone Ranger; 8:30 Battle of Sexes;
9 New time for Dunninger;

43-12-15 Waterloo Daily Courier
8:00—WMT Lionel Barrymore
KXEL Dunninger
WHO Eddie Cantor

43-12-15 Troy Record
WTRY--9:00--Dunninger

43-12-15 Pulaski Southwest Times
BLUE--7:30 Lone Ranger; 8:30 Battle of Sexes;
9 New time for Dunninger;
43-12-22
16
Title Unknown
N
43-12-22 Waterloo Daily Courier
8:00—WMT Lionel Barrymore
KXEL Dunninger
WHO Eddie Cantor

43-12-22 Lowell Sun
Dunninger, Master Mentalist,
WHDH, 9 to 9:30

43-12-22 Sheboygan Press
8:00--WENR — Dunninger, mind reader

43-12-22 New York Times
9:00-WJZ--Lavalle Orchestra
43-12-29
17
Title Unknown
N
43-12-29 Lowell Sun
Dunninger, Master Mentalist,
WHDH, 9 to 9:30

43-12-29 Pulaski Southwest Times
BLU — 7:03, The Falcon; 7:30, Lone Ranger; 8:30, Battle of Sexes; 9, Mind Reading Dunninger;


Panama City News Herald
BLU—6:05 The Falcon; 6:30 Lone Ranger; 7:30 Battle of Sexes; 8 Mind Reading Dunninger

43-12-29 Clearfield Progress
BLUE—7:05 The Falcon, 7:30
Lone Ranger; 8:30 Battle of Sexes; 9 Mind Reading Dunninger;


43-12-29 Chicago Tribune
8--WENR-Dunninger program (B).

43-12-29 New York Times
9:00-WJZ--Lavalle Orchestra





44-12-29
--
--
44-12-29 New York Times
9:00-WJZ--Lavalle Orchestra
44-01-05
1
Guest Unknown
N
[Premiere of The Kemtone Hour]

44-01-05 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist launches new sponsored series of programs, reading minds of studio audience, as well as "long distance thought-reading."
44-01-12
2
Guest Benay Venuta
N
44-01-12 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist in mind-reading experiments. Judges, Benay Venuta, Singer, Edwin C. Hill, commentator-columnist, and David Scholtz, former governor of Florida.
44-01-19
3
Guest Beatrice Kay
N
44-01-19 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind-reader, with Beatrice Kay, singer-comedienne, as guest judge.
44-01-26
4
Guest Unknown
N
[From Memphis, TN]

44-01-26 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist will read mind of war bond sales chief in Memphis, Tenn.
44-02-02
5
Guest Unknown
N
44-02-02 Wisconsin State Journal
8:00 Dunninger--WENR
44-02-09
6
Guest Unknown
N
44-02-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8:00 Dunninger--WENR
44-02-16
7
Guest Unknown
N
44-02-16 Wisconsin State Journal
8:00 Dunninger--WENR
44-02-23
8
Guest Roy Acuff
N
[From Memphis, TN]

44-02-23 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist "projects" to his audience by mental telepathy the name of one of the characters in "Gone With the Wind;" judges, Roy Acuff, hillbilly m.c. of Grand Ole Opry, Brig. Gen. W. A. Danielson, commanding general of Memphis Arsenal, and Mrs. Edward B. Fowler, Memphic civic leader.
44-03-01
9
Guest Bret Morrison
N
[From Atlanta, GA]

44-03-01 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
Master mentalist performs "X-ray eye" feat.
44-03-08
10
Guest Bert Lytell
N
44-03-08 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist in Red Cross fund stunt; judges, Bert Lytell, officer-of-the-day on "Stage Door Canteen," and Helen Menken, chairman of Radio Division of American Theater Wing.
44-03-15
11
Guest Unknown
N
44-03-15 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist will name designers of three dresses worn by models at Poor Richard club dinner in Philadelphia.
44-03-22
12
Guests Joan Edwards, Barry Wood
N
44-03-22 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist finds three business cards from among thousands as "brain buster" assignment; judges, Mrs. Bernard Gimbel of AWVS, Joan Edwards and Barry Wood, singers, and John Kidde, manufacturer of life-saving equipment for armed forces.
44-03-29
13
Guest Arthur Murray
N
44-03-29 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
in mind-reading stunts; judges, Mrs. Dorothly S. Thackrey, publisher, Arthur Murray, dance teacher; and Lucy Monroe, singer.
44-04-05
14
Guest Eleanor Steber
N
44-04-05 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
describes, sight unseen, three art objects selected by the judges, including Eleanor Steber of Metropolitan Opera; Irina Earonova, ballet dancer; and two famed art patrons.
44-04-12
15
Guest Richard Rodgers
Y
44-04-12 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader to locate 100 mile radius of studio; judges, Betty Smith, author of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn;" Richard Rodgers, composer; and Bea Wain, singer.
44-04-19
16
Guest Jane Pickens
N
[AFRTS Only]

44-04-19 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader will locate a bag checked in New York and name contents; judges, George McManus, cartoonist, and John Winchell, "The Old Timer" of "Musical Steelmakers" program.
44-04-26
17
Guest Vaughn Monroe
N
44-04-26 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist will read unopened letters written by Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotton and Shirley Temple; judges, Ruth Bryan Rohde, daughter of the late William Jennings Bryan, and Vaughn Monroe, orchestra leader.
44-05-03
18
Guest Rosemarie Lombardo
N
[AFRTS Only]

44-05-03 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader will tell contents of a locked box encased in a cement block; judges, John Ray Carlson, author of "Under Cover," Robert Ripley and Ginny Simms.
44-05-10
19
Guest Jean Muir
N
44-05-10 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
enlists the telepathic services of a member of the audience; judges, Danton Walker, Broadway columnist; Jerry Wayne, singer; and Jean Muir, screen actress.





44-05-15
[Aud.]
What's On Your Mind?
N
[Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS) audition of 'What's On Your Mind?']






44-05-17
20
Guest Parks Johnson
N
44-05-17 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader will identify breeds and markings of three dogs in sealed boxes; judges, Vivian della Chiesa, soprano; Parks Johnson, radio m.c., and Allen Reeder, advertising executive and author.

43-05-22 The Billboard

Tele-Mind Dunninger
MBS Audience Try

NEW YORK, May 15.--National Concert & Artists' Corporation is trying out its new Joseph Dunninger half-hour show Monday night on an audience at the Mutual Playhouse here. Show, What's On Your Mind?, is directed by Fritz Blocki and writtern by Edward Gluskin and Walter Gibson.
It's the outgrowth of a successful, one-time-shot over KYW, Philadelphia (see The Billboard, March 20). Audience participation and prizes are worked into the script with includes dramatizations of "strange telepathetic manifestations."

44-05-24
21
Guest Marjorie Lawrence
N
44-05-24 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader will locate piece of currency placed in one of three million books in New York library; judges, Barry Farris, editor-in-chief of International News Service; Marjorie Lawrence, Metropolitan Opera star; and Col. John Stillwell, president of National Safety council.

44-06-03 Billboard
SEVEN-WAY PICK-UP - NEW YORK, May 27.-- . . .
Mentalist Dunninger renewed for another 13 weeks by Kem-Tone . . .
44-05-31
22
Guest Molly Berg
N
44-05-31 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
will read thoughts of Wilfred Pelletier, Metropolitan Opera conductor; Barry Farria, news syndicate editor; and Molly Berg, writer-star of the Goldbergs.
44-06-07
23
Guest Frank Forrest
N
44-06-07 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): reads thoughts of convalescent fighting men at Halloran hospital, Staten Island; judges, Bob Considine, sports colulmnist and war correspondent; Mrs. William A. Rotholtz, head of Nurses' Aide and Cadet Nurses in New York area; Frank Forrest of "Double or Nothing" program.
44-06-14
24
Guest Dorothy Kilgallen
Y
44-06-14 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader will attempt to read a headline from next day's paper before it is printed; stunt sponsored by Dick Powell; judges, Dorothy Kilgallen, Broadway columnist; Shep Fields, orchestra leader; and Harry Brown of New York state community sales division of war finance committee.
44-06-21
25
Guest Unknown
N
[From Chicago, IL]

44-06-21 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
tries to locate Chicago war bond poster.
44-06-28
26
Guest Unknown
N
44-06-28 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
tries to identify coins.
44-07-05
27
Guest Irene Rich
N
[AFRTS Only]

44-07-05 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist will prove ability as "lie detector"; judges, Irene Rich, actress; Charles Revson, cosmetics manufacturer; and Dick Todd, radio singer.
44-07-12
28
Guest Beatrice Fairfax (Marie Manning)
Y
[From Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD]

44-07-12 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader shows new way of detecting talent among amateurs; judges, Abel Green, editor of Variety; Beatrice Fairfax, columnist; and D.A. Trotter, tax collector.
44-07-19
29
Guest Harry Hershfield
N
44-07-19 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader will finish jokes partly told by comedians "Senator" Ford, Harry Hershfield, and Joe Laurie, Jr.
44-07-26
30
Guest Raymond Edward Johnson
Y
44-07-26 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader will attempt to solve mystery story prepared especially for the broadcast by Rex Stout.
44-08-02
31
A Salute to The U.S. Coast Guard
Y
44-08-02 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader will locate three coastguardsmen, describe their citations, and tell where they have seen action; judges, Rear Admiral L.C. Covell; Comdr. Jack Dempsey, Mary Small, singer; and Capt. Ellis Reed-Hill, coast guard public relations head.
44-08-09
32
Guest Dick Todd
N
44-08-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
mind reader attempts to read words and music of an unpublished song; judges, Dick Todd, singer, aunt Daisy Basham, woman radio commentator from New Zealand.
44-08-16
33
Guest Mark Warnow
Y
44-08-16 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
with the 700 monuments throughout the city of New York as the subject of Dunninger's mental scrutiny; judges, Mark Warnow, orchestra leader, Fred Andrews, president of the Hotel New Yorker, and Evelyn Knight, radio singer.
44-08-23
34
Double Mental Miracle
N
44-08-23 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): a repeat of the "Double Mental Miracle."
44-08-30
35
Guest Helen Jepson
N
44-08-30 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): will read railroad timetables by reading inds of judges, Helen Jepson, Metropolitan Opera soprano; Harold D. Hodgkinson, department store merchandiser; John Sebastian, harmonica virtuoso.
44-09-06
36
Guest Cornel Wilde
N
44-09-06 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): master mentalist will try to tell cards pulled from a deck shuffled by judges, Bennet Cerf, book publisher, Cornel Wilde, film star, Dolly Dawn, singer, and Johnny Long, orchestra leader.
44-09-13
37
Man In A Million
N
44-09-13 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
attempts to find "man in a million."
44-09-20
38
Guest Constance Bennett
N
44-09-20 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): tries to identify passages of classical music hidden in popular songs selected by judges, Constance Bennett, Joe Howard of "Gay Nineties" radio program, and Signumd Spaeth, music authority.
44-09-27
39
Guest Anita Stewart
N
44-09-27 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
plays anagrams the hard way on his telapathy broadcast; judges, Anita Stewart, actress; Irving Caesar, songwriter; and Claudia Morgan, actress.
44-10-04
40
Guest Henry Kaiser
N
44-10-04 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
master mentalist has Henry Kaiser, shipbuilder, as guest; Dunninger will attempt to read Kaiser's mind and describe his plan for a post-war streamlined ship.
44-10-11
41
Guest Yvette
N
44-10-11 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
will read minds of judges, Yvette, singer, Commodore G.H. Mills and Capt. J.M. Thornton, who will plan stunt for three Conover models.
44-10-18
42
Guest Marion Mann
N
44-10-18 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
repeats his "lie detector" demonstration; judges, Marion Mann, singer; Edwin McArthur, conductor of Chicago Civic Opera company, and E.L. Schnadig, mail order company president.
44-10-25
43
Guest Ina Claire
N
44-10-25 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
plays Shakespeare by mind-reading quotations selected by his judges, Ina Claire, actress, and Patricia Lynn, vocalist.
44-11-01
44
Guest Gloria Blondell
N
44-11-01 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR):
tells contents of a locked box by reading minds of Carleton Young, actor; Gloria Blondell, actress; and Lynn Martin, singer.
44-11-08
45
Guest Unknown
N
44-11-08 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): tries a numeral brainbuster; judges, J.B. Adone, acting mayor of Dallas, Tex.; Mrs. Dennis G. Colwell, clubwoman; M.B. Miller, executive; and Louise McKay, singer.
44-11-15
46
Guest Unknown
N
44-11-15 Wisconsin State Journal
8:00 Dunninger--WENR
44-11-22
47
Guest Don McLaughlin
N
44-11-22 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): will attempt to read hidden words and numbers formed from blocks by judges, Virginia Haskins, singer, Harry Conover of Conover models, and Don McLaughlin of "Counterspy" program.
44-11-29
48
Guest Guy Lombardo
N
44-11-29 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): attempts to solve a secret "brain buster" concocted by his four Judges, Kathleen Winsor, author of best-seller "Forever Amber;" Guy Lombardo, orchestra leader; Victoria Cordova, singer; and Fred Gehle, chairman of New York Finance committee of treasury department.
44-12-06
49
Guest Eleanor Bowers
N
44-12-06 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): will attempt to describe by thought-reading a product of the future designed by one of the judges. J. Gordon Lippencott, industrial designer; other judges, Maria Kramer, president of a hotel chain, and Eleanor Bowers, singer.
44-12-13
50
Guest Breuchig
N
44-12-13 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): mind reader will describe several stamps selected by Breuchig, famous stamp collector. Other judges Len Gleason, magazine editor, and Ted Steele, novachordist.
44-12-20
51
Guest Unknown
N
44-12-20 Wisconsin State Journal
8:00 Dunninger--WENR
44-12-27
52
Guest Harry Sosnik
N
44-12-27 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Dunninger (WENR): William Fawcett, of Fawcett Publications; Harry Sosnik, orchestra director, and Mary Ashworth, vocalist, as guests.
45-01-03
--
--
45-01-03 Wisconsin State Journal
8:00 Keep Up With the World--WENR





45-06-01
--
--
45-06-01 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 9:00 NBC Amos 'n' Andy
45-06-08
1
Guest June Havoc
N
[Premiere of The Dunninger Show for NBC; Sponsored by Rinso; Summer replacement for Amos 'n' Andy]

45-06-08 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
new program; Anita Ellis, vocalist; Mitchell Ayres orchestra; guests, Lieut. William D. Robertson, first American to meet Russians at Elbe river; June Havoc, stage star; Daniel D. Mich, former State Journal man, now executive editor of Look magazine.
45-06-15
2
Guest Wendy Barrie
N
45-06-15 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
master mentalist appears with Wendy Barrie, actress, and Ted Malone, war correspondent, as judges.
45-06-22
3
Guest Ida Lupino
N
45-06-22 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
master mentalist performs with Ida Lupino and Thomas J. Deegan, director of public information for airline as judges.
45-06-29
4
Guest Mitzi Green
N
45-06-29 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
Mitzi Green, singer, and William A. Benson, express agency executive, judges for master mentalists' feats.
45-07-06
5
Guest Jessica Dragonette
N
45-07-06 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger Show (WIBA):
with Jessica Dragonette, singer, and Joseph Keho, president, cosmetics company, judges.
45-07-13
6
Guest Carol Bruce
N
45-07-13 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
Marilyn Day, vocalist, and Mitchell Ayres' orchestra; guest judges, Carol Bruce, singer, and Harry S. Berk, director, National Silver Co.
45-07-20
7
Guest Paula Stone
N
45-07-20 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
guest judges, Paula Stone, radio commentator, and George Lait, foreign correspondent.
45-07-27
8
Guest Dorothy Kirsten
N
45-07-27 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger, Master Mentalist (WIBA):
Mitchell Ayres' orchestra; Marilyn Day, singer; guests, Dorothy Kirsten, soprano, John Wildberg, theatrical producer.
45-08-03
9
Guest Gypsy Rose Lee
N
45-08-03 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
guests, Gypsy Rose Lee, Carl W. Dipman, "Progressive Grocer" editor, and A.F. Guckenberger, of N.Y. State Food Merchants assn.
45-08-10
10
Guest Ruth Terry
N
45-08-10 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
Ruth Terry, film star; Lieut. Orrin Tucker, former bandleader, and G. Edward Pendray, corporation management counsellor, guests.
45-08-17
11
Guest Evelyn Keyes
N
45-08-17 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
Evelyn Keyes, actress, and Robert H. Morse, industrialist, judges.
45-08-24
12
Guest Jane Cowl
N
45-08-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger Show (WIBA):
with Jane Cowl, actress, and John Cavanaugh, chairman of board of Hat Corporation of America, as judges.
45-08-31
13
Guest Vivian della Chiesa
N
45-08-31 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
tries to open padlocks mentally; guest judge, Vivian della Chiesa, soprano.
45-09-07
14
Guest Claudia Morgan
N
45-09-07 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
judges, Claudia Morgan, stage and radio star, and Norman A. Schuele, advertising manager of copper and brass company.
45-09-14
15
Guest Arleen Whalen
N
45-09-14 Chicago Daily Tribune
9:00--WMAQ--Dunninger show.
Guests: Arleen Whalen and Byron Harvey Jr.

45-09-14 The Lima News
Hollywood and Broadway star Arleen Whelan and Byron Harvey, Jr., president of , the Fred Harvey System, join with a GI to be chosen on the eve of the broadcast to appear as guest judges on the "Dunninger Show" at 9 p. in. Friday over WEAF. For the "brainbuster," the master mentalist will attempt to select mentally objects from a serviceman's overseas Christmas package.
45-09-21
16
Guest Diane Courtney
N
45-09-21 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Dunninger Show (WIBA):
guest judges, Diane Courtney, radio and recording star, and Arthur Motley, publisher.
45-09-28
17
Guests Amos 'n' Andy
N
45-09-28 Chicago Daily Tribune
9:00--Dunninger, with Amos 'n' Andy as guests.
45-10-05
--
--
45-10-05 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 9:00 NBC Mystery Theater





46-05-28
--
--
46-05-28 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 7:00 NBC Amos 'n' Andy
46-06-04
1
Guest Lucille Ball
N
[Summer replacement for Amos 'n' Andy]

46-06-04 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
master mentalist in series of four broadcasts as first of summer replacements for Amos 'n' Andy; Bill Slater, m.c.; Laura Linwood, vocalist; Dave Grupp orchestra; Lucille Ball, guest.
46-06-11
2
Guest Glenda Farrell
N
46-06-11 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
guests, Glenda Farrell, actress; Simon C. Gershey; watch manufacturer; Earle Sande, jockey.
46-06-18
3
Guest Marilyn Maxwell
N
46-06-18 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
guests Marilyn Maxwell, actress; Joe Mackey, newspaperman; and Craig Wood, golf champion.
46-06-25
4
Guests Jinx Falkenburg, Tex McCrary
N
46-06-25 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m.--Dunninger (WIBA):
presents final broadcast of series, with Jinx Falkenburg, screen and radio star; her husband, Tex McCrary, and Willard K. Denton, president, Manhattan Savings Bank in New York, as guest judges.
46-07-02
--
--
46-07-02 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 7:00 Record Shop





AFRS 'Dunninger' Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
44-04-19 Guest George McManus
Y
44-05-03 Guest Rosemarie Lombardo
Y
44-07-05 Guest Irene Rich
Y






The Dunninger the Mentalist Radio Program Biographies




Joseph Dunninger
(Dunning the Mentalist)

(1892-1975)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Education:

Radiography:

1940 We the People
1943 Telepathic Experiments
1944 The Kem-tone Hour
1944 The Bill Stern Colgate Sports Newsreel
1944 The Lucky Strike Program
1946 The Dunninger Show

Joseph Dunninger circa 1944
Joseph Dunninger circa 1944

Joseph Dunninger as a 1907 escape artist
Joseph Dunninger as a 1907 escape artist

From the January 6th 1944 Big Piney Examiner:

'Master Mentalist'
Finds Thought Reading
Easier Than Addition; Challenges Skeptics

Dunninger Denies
   'Supernatural' Aid,
      Credits Telepathy

By ALBERT J. PUGNER
Released by Western Newspaper Union.

     Arithmetic was tough for Joe Dunninger.  So he found an easy way to get the answers.  He just read them from the minds of his teacher and classmates.
     This was fun, so after school Joe tried reading others' minds.  He soon found out, says he, that if a person would concentrate upon any simple question for a second, he could tell exactly what that person was thinking.  Today, 35 years later, Joseph Dunninger is still reading others' thoughts on the radio, over the telephone, and, previously, on the stages of America and most foreign countries.
     After relating how he discovered his thought-reading ability, Dunninger, a tall, solid man with receding hair and searching eyes, emphasized:

     "There is nothing supernatural about my work, and I am not a fortune teller."
     Those are the words with which he usually opens his weekly performance before a visible and radio audience.  A few seconds later he calls from his desk on the stage:
     "Someone is thinking of Harriet.  Will that person please rise?"
     A woman in the audience rises.  Dunninger asks her: "Have we ever met before, madame?"
     "No," she answers.
     "Very well," continues Dunninger.  "You are thinking of a Harriet Davis.  Her address is 6217 South Campbell street.  Is that correct?"
     "Absolutely," gasps the woman.
     Dunninger calls out, "I seem to get a word that looks like Baylor.  It seems to be a university."
     A military officer stands up.
     "Is that your thought, sir?"
     The officer nods and Dunninger calls out with great emphasis:  "Do you swear that I have prearranged nothing with you and that you have not revealed this information to anyone in the audience'"
     "I do, sir," answers the officer.
     "Very well," says Dunninger.  "You are thinking of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  You studied there, and now you are thinking of the course you took.  Chemistry and pre-medical.  Is that right?"
     "It certainly is," answers the officer.
               Judges Check Show.
     Carefully watching these strange proceedings are three judges seated near Dunninger.  They are usually famous persons such as T. S. Sen. Hattie W. Caraway, Paul Whiteman, Judge Edward R. Koch of the New York Supreme court, and John A. Zellers, president of the Advertising Club of New York, all of whom have acted as observers on the program.
     Recently, Maj. Lenox Riley Lohr, president of the Museum of Science and Industry, former general manager of the National Broadcasting company, acted as a judge and assisted Dunninger in what was described as "the greatest long distance mental telepathy experiment ever attempted."
     Major Lohr, seated next to Dunninger in Chicago, Ill., telephoned Congressman William A. Rowan in Washington, D. C.  He asked Rowan to select any volume of the Congressional Record, and then select any three words on any page of that volume.
     "Tell Mr. Rowan to put his finger on a word—any word," instructed Dunninger.  Major Lohr relayed the message. Dunninger quickly wrote something on a large white sheet of paper.  "Now the second," he continued, and immediately wrote again.  "And the third," he concluded.
     "Now," announced Dunninger, "I ask the judges to initial this paper I have written on so they can identify it, and then to place it in an envelope and seal it."
     Then Major Lohr asked Rowan by telephone to reveal the words.  They were "Thanksgiving," "unanimous,"
and "consent."  The envelope was opened.  One of the judges read Dunninger's words.  They were "Thanksgiving," "unanimous," and "consent."
     The paradoxical Dunninger constantly insists that his work is not related to the supernatural and in the same breath relates that he has asked the United States navy to let him make our battleships invisible to the enemy.  He's a magician, too.
     When he gets bored reading minds, he might be found on a stage making an elephant or two disappear, sawing a woman into eight pieces, or, if the sawing makes her nervous, he'll just let her float in midair.
     But thought (reading occupies most of his time these days.  According to Dunninger, this is how it's done:
     "The sender must concentrate upon his thought.  The receiver does not try to form a preconceived idea of what the thought will be, but keeps his mind open and then accepts the first impression without question.
     "I usually vision a black slate and my impressions usually come in the form of white writing or images upon this slate."
     Sometimes Dunninger uses real slates, as he did in Chicago when entertaining a group of 4H youths at their 22nd annual congress.  The "Master Mentalist" called a young farmer to the stage, handed him a piece of chalk and a large slate, then told the youth to leave the room and draw any symbol upon the slate.
               This Times It's a Real Slate.
     Dunninger picked up another slate.  Almost as soon as the youth had left the room the "Master Mentalist" drew a large dollar sign which he displayed to the audience.  The youth returned and held up his slate.  On it was a dollar sign.
     Dunninger hopes to try a variation of this feat with Walt Disney of Hollywood soon.  He will ask Disney to draw Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or any other famous animated cartoon character.  Dunninger, seated in another room, or possibly another city, will try to read Disney's mind and reproduce the character.
     "I am not an artist, but I believe I can reproduce a fairly clear likeness," he ventures.  He probably will succeed.  For although he says he is not a musician, he succeeded in reproducing a bar of music written by Paul Whiteman while the two men were separated by the thick walls of different broadcasting studios.
     "Of course," explains Dunninger, "I go out on a limb when I read single minds.  Naturally, the more minds concentrated on the same subject, the easier it is to receive that subject.  Therefore, in practicing thought reading, it is best to start out with a group of minds concentrating on the same thought."
     Some of the famous minds Dunninger has read are those of Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, the duke of Windsor, Thomas Edison and Pope Pius XII.
     The "Master Mentalist" discusses his strange art quite freely.  He believes it could be developed for use in such fields as criminology, psychology and psychiatry, but he thinks the time is a long way off, because so little is known as to the nature of thought reading.  He believes the reception is in the subconscious mind and "possibly may operate as a radio receiving set."
               A Mental Radio.
     His theory is that he figuratively twists dials until he hits wave lengths on which he receives messages or images.
     Before a broadcast, he tunes up by walking through the audience as he distributes slips of paper on which they are to write their thoughts.  These slips stay in the possession of the writers and everyone is urged not to show his slip to
anyone in the studio.
     "Those slips are the explanation of your mind reading act," wrote one person to Dunninger.  "Somehow or other you manage to read them, probably when you walk down in the audience."  Another skeptic wrote:  "You take the slips away from the people, read them, and return them without the audience realizing it."
     He disposed of the slip theories by reading several thoughts which had not been written down.  "I ask people to write their thoughts," explains Dunninger, "because it usually makes those thoughts clearer in their minds."  As for walking in the audience, Dunninger says he does that "to become acquainted with my subjects.  It seems to make the impressions come clearer and faster."
               Skeptics Amuse Him.
     Skeptics are constantly trying to explain Dunninger's work in terms other than telepathy.  Sometimes this is a source of amusement, says he.
     "Two or three men investigating my work apparently were passing notes to each other in the studio during one Sunday afternoon broadcast," Dunninger relates.  "I kept receiving impressions of these notes.  One note read: 'Dunninger walks down in the audience.'  Another was:  'I'm a criminologist.  I don't get this.'  Some day I'm afraid I'll embarrass one of these investigators by reading his note over a nationwide hookup.
     "My work cannot be explained except as telepathy, and my offer of $10,000 to anyone who can prove that I use confederates, employees, or stooges, still stands."

From the March 10th 1975 edition of The New York Times:

DUNNINGER DIES; MAGICIAN WAS 82;
Billed Himself as 'Master Mind of Mental Mystery'

Joseph Dunninger, who mystified millions as a magician and mind-reader for more than half a century, died yesterday of Parkinson's disease at his home in Cliffside Park, N.J. He was 82 years old.





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