Our Town Norfolk: Johnny Carson Hometown

John William Carson was born in Corning, Iowa in 1925. Carson moved to Our Town Norfolk when he was just 8 years old.

Carson became an aspiring magician and debuted as "The Great Carsoni" when he was 14.

Carson went on to become one of the great entertainers in the history of television.

From all 6 of his Emmy's to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center. Carson himself made sure that his hometown museum would be the permanent home of some of his most prized memorabilia.

Ruthie Galitz is the director of the Elkhorn Valley Museum and she says thousands of visitors come to Norfolk every year just to see this exhibit for themselves, "It's a big deal. It brings a lot of people in just to see Johnny Carson."

Carson made his Tonight Show debut on August 1st, 1962 and over the next 30 years, more than 83 billion viewers tuned in to see Carson work his comedy magic.

By the mid 1970's, Carson had become the highest-paid personality on television earning about 4 million dollars a year.

From 1962 to 1992, Carson hosted The Tonight Show 4,531 times. But no matter how brightly his star shined in show business, Johnny never forgot his roots. He was a life-long subscriber to the Norfolk Daily News.

On May 22nd, 1992, 50 million viewers watched Johnny say farewell to the Tonight Show after 30 years on the air.

He passed away in 2005 at the age of 79.

The estate of the late Johnny Carson has recently given the go-ahead for a new movie about Johnny's life.

The movie will be based on the upcoming book, Carson the Magnificent."


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