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Eddie Cantor

(1882 - 1964)

Eddie Cantor was born in New York City in 1892. After becoming a smash hit in vaudeville, Ziegfeld signed him for his Midnight Frolics and then the Follies of 1917, 1918, 1919 and 1923.

From there he went to films in the 1920s, starring in Whoopee, Kid from Spain and Kid Millions. After an appearance on Rudy Vallee’s Fleischmann Hour in 1931, Cantor's radio career began to soar.

By the early 30s, Eddie Cantor had become the highest-rated star on radio. For seven years, his Chase & Sanborn Hour on NBC garnered immense ratings. Cantor was the second most recognizable person in America—second only to President Roosevelt, for whom he created the March of Dimes to help in the fight against polio.

Cantor’s sign-off line—“I love to spend each Sunday with you”—was followed frequently by a pitch for a charitable or patriotic cause. He received a Presidential Citation for his dedication to charity. A union activist, Cantor was the first national president of AFRA and SAG.

Cantor also made the successful transition to television on the Colgate Comedy Hour, making him one of the few performers to reach star status on stage, screen, radio and television.

Eddie Cantor died on October 10, 1964.

Sources: The Museum of Broadcast Communications, Radio Hall of Fame