Quiz Kids

The Radio Program with the Smartest Children in America, 1940–1953


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About the Book

Quiz Kids was a network radio program that aired from 1940 to 1953 featuring smart children answering difficult questions submitted by listeners. Part of radio history during its “golden age,” Quiz Kids thrived during a period of dramatic change in America.
Audiences marveled at the speed with which the Kids answered the most difficult questions, vaulting the show beyond the producers’ wildest expectations. Eleanor Roosevelt invited the Kids to the White House to meet with them. Their appearance at the Senate is discussed in the Congressional Record. During World War II, they toured America and raised $120 million in war bonds. They were guests on Jack Benny’s radio show for three consecutive weeks. Walt Disney, Bob Hope, Fred Allen, the Lone Ranger, Gene Autry and other famous people were on their program. This thorough history describes the creation of the program, its national popularity and the children who made it such good listening.

About the Author(s)

Martin A. Gardner has worked in advertising and as a writer for The Village Voice, House Beautiful, and Art Business News, among other periodicals. He lives in New York.

Bibliographic Details

Martin A. Gardner
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 320
Bibliographic Info: 29 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3976-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0626-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1. Children on My Mind 7
2. The Brains Behind the Brains 30
3. How to Become a Quiz Kid 49
4. The Whirlwind Begins 55
5. The Quiz Kids—Selected Short Subjects 77
6. Rising Stars 96
7. Hooray for Hollywood 115
8. Soldiering On 143
9. Box 1100 165
10. Quiz Kids, Too? 170
11. Any Bonds Today? 177
12. Don’t You Know There’s a War On? 197
13. Peace 212
14. Kids Will Be Kids 234
15. Goodbye, Mr. Kelly 240
Appendix A: Questions and Answers 255
Appendix B: The Quiz Kids, Programs and Guests 260
Appendix C: Quiz Kids Program Chronology 286
Chapter Notes 287
Bibliography 301
Index 309