A Soldier's Story: Private First Class James Harvey Booth

A Sailor's Story: Ensign John William "Johnny" Carson

John William Carson was born on October 23, 1925, in Corning, Iowa.

He started performing early. His first show, at age 14, was for a local Kiwanis Club, where he debuted "The Great Carsoni."

In response to World War II, Ensign John William Carson joined the US Navy on June 8, 1943, and was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania. He performed a magic trick for the US Secretary of the Navy, James V. Forrestal.

After the war, Ensign Carson took advantage of the GI bill, attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Graduating with a bachelor's in radio and speech, with the thesis, "How to Write Comedian Jokes."

He began his career at WOW radio in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1950, and by 1955, he had a CBS show titled "The Johnny Carson Show" and, in 1962, became the host of the Tonight Show, a role he maintained until retirement in 1992.

While he never discussed his personal life or politics, he actively supported the USO and created the Johnny Carson Foundation for children's health and education services. He also taught himself Swahili and loved Elvis.

He died on January 23, 2005.  Ensign Carter's epigraph reads, " I'll be right back."


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

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