Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen (December 26, 1921 – October 30, 2000) was an American television personality, radio personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, writer. In 1954, he achieved national fame as the co-creator and first host of The Tonight Show , which was the first late night television talk show.
Allen is best known for his extensive network television career, gaining national attention as a guest host on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. Afterhosting The Tonight Show, he went on to host numerous game and variety shows, and was a regular panel member on CBS's What's My Line?
Allen was a pianist and a prolific composer. By his own estimate, he wrote more than 8,500 songs. Working as a lyricist, Allen won the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Original Jazz Composition. He also wrote more than 50 books, including novels, children's books, and books of opinions, including his final book, Vulgarians at the Gate: Trash TV and Raunch Radio (2001).
In 1996 Allen was presented with the Martin Gardner Lifetime Achievement Award from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSICOP).mHe has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Hollywood theatre named in his honor.
Allen died on October 30, 2000, at the age of 78. The cause of death was a ruptured blood vessel caused by chest injuries he did not realize he had sustained in a minor traffic accident earlier that day.,According to Jayne Meadows, "Typical of Steve,,who was the dearest, sweetest man: He was hit by a man, backing into him, breaking all of his ribs, that pierced his heart ... and when he got out of the car, he said to the man, 'What some people will do to get my autograph.'"
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