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The Rest of the Story
The gifted and beloved broadcaster Paul Harvey wove threads of faith through his heart-warming stories.

Paul Harvey was a radio broadcast icon. He died on February 28th of last year at the age of 90.

Harvey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was known for his homey style and resonant mid-western accent. His father, a police officer, was killed when he was only a toddler. It was a high school teacher who first noted his distinctive voice and encouraged him to pursue a broadcast career.

While working for a radio station in St. Louis, Harvey met Lynne Cooper. He proposed to her on their first date. She said “no”. Ahh, but wait for the rest of the story. Eventually she said “yes” and they were married in 1940. They had one child, Paul Jr., who would later help to write and research his father’s programs. Harvey always called his wife “Angel” and credits her, his lifetime soul-mate and longtime producer, with much of his success. She died a year earlier and had also been inducted into the “Radio Hall of Fame” along with her more famous husband.

Harvey worked for more than 50 years for ABC Radio and was still active at the time of his death. In 2000, he signed a new ten-year contract with them at the age of 82. He almost lived to fulfill it.

His daily routine consisted of rising at 3:30 am, eating a bowl of oatmeal, and driving to his downtown Chicago office near Lake Michigan where he produced his twice-daily news commentaries. At the peak of his popularity, Harvey reached more than 24 million listeners on more than 1,200 radio stations and his syndicated column was carried by 300 newspapers.

His most popular program was called “The Rest of the Story” which began in 1976. He would recount the lives of famous people in his uniquely winsome way, only revealing their identity at the end. In his words, the stories were intended to capture “the heartbeats behind the headlines”.

Paul Harvey was a Christian. He often wove threads of faith through his heart-warming stories. Although working a secular job, he lived out his faith daily before those he loved and those with whom he worked. He was described by ABC’s president as “one of the most gifted and beloved broadcasters in our nation’s history.”

As for all believers, Harvey lived his life “by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), realizing that “now we see a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Many people will miss Paul Harvey, the man and the voice. It’s just too bad he couldn’t come back for one last time... and tell us “the rest of the story.”

Rob Weatherby pastors the Bethel Baptist Church family in Whitefish, Ontario.

Originally published in The Sudbury Star, February 6, 2010.

Used with permission. Copyright © 2010 Christianity.ca.

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