Birth Date: February 12, 1904
Date of Death: July 12, 1976 / Age: 72
Biography: Ted Mack (February 12, 1904 - July 12, 1976) [born William Edward Maguiness] was an American television host, best remembered for Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour. The program, a hit in the early days of television, set the stage for numerous programs seeking to find talent stars, from The Gong Show to Star Search to American Idol.
The Original Amateur Hour began on radio in 1934 as Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour, and ran until 1946 when Major Bowes, the creator, died. Mack, a talent scout who had directed the show under Bowes, revived it in 1948 for ABC Radio and the DuMont Television Network.
It lasted on radio until 1952 and until 1970 on television, where it ran on all four major networks, ending as a Sunday afternoon CBS staple.
The show was generally held in New York's Radio City Music Hall, featuring amateurs whose performance were judged by viewers, voting via letters and phone calls. Contestants who won three times earned cash prizes, scholarships, or parts in a travelling stage show associated with the program.
Winners who went on to show business careers included singers Gladys Knight and Pat Boone.