Mary Margaret McBride
Mary Margaret McBride was the undisputed first lady of radio for more than 20 years.
From 1934 to 1953, McBride was the window to the world for millions of women who were seeking escape from the boredom of housework. She was often referred to as the "female Arthur Godfrey."
McBride was well known to nearly everyone who grew up before the television generation. She interviewed famous people of the day, including presidents, movie stars, writers and everyday folks.
She was born on a farm outside Paris, Mo. At the age of 5, she said she decided she wanted to "be another Charles Dickens."
She began a newspaper career in Missouri at age 15 and then moved to Cleveland and later to New York City. She was also a freelance magazine writer and wrote 18 books, some in collaboration with others.
Her first job in radio paid $25 a week and called for her to pose as a kindly old grandmother named Martha Deane, who gave household hints and had a flock of grandchildren she could tell stories about.
Her listeners were so devoted that on her 10th anniversary in radio they packed Madison Square Garden for a party in her honor. On her 15th anniversary, fans filled Yankee Stadium.
On her 20th anniversary, shortly after the death of her longtime friend and manager Stella Karn, she signed off her daily show.
McBride died at age 76 in her home in the Catskill Mountains on April 7, 1976, after a long illness.
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