About this Famous Person
American television host and comedian
Source : Tim DOWLING
Carson was born in Corning, Iowa to Homer Lloyd "Kit" Carson, a power company manager, and Ruth (Hook) Carson, who was of Irish descent. He grew up in the nearby towns of Avoca, Clarinda, and Red Oak in southwest Iowa before moving to Norfolk, Nebraska, at the age of eight. At the age of twelve, Carson found a book on magic at a friend's house and immediately purchased a mail-order magician's kit. He debuted as "The Great Carsoni" at fourteen and was paid $3; many other performances at local picnics and country fairs followed.
Carson joined the U.S. Navy on June 8, 1943, received V-12 officer training at Columbia University and Millsaps College, and continued to perform magic. Commissioned an ensign late in the war, Carson was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania in the Pacific. While in the Navy, Carson posted a 10-0 amateur boxing record, with most of his bouts fought on board the USS Pennsylvania. He was en route to the combat zone aboard a troopship when the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war. Carson served as a communications officer in charge of decoding encrypted messages and said that the high point of his military career was performing a magic trick for United States Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal.
Carson then attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he joined The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta, continued performing magic (now paid $25 per appearance), wrote a thesis on the structure of Jack Benny's comedy routines, and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in radio and speech with a minor in physics in 1949.
- Category Actor