WINCHELL, WALTER (1897–1972), U.S. newspaper columnist. Winchell, a New Yorker by birth, began contributing theatrical gossip to the house organ of a theater chain when he was a young vaudeville actor. This led the New York Graphic to give him his own column, "On Broadway," in 1924, and in 1929 he moved to Hearst's Daily Mirror. Over the years he gained a position of unmatched power among newspaper writers. His sources included presidents and kings, industrial tycoons, the leaders of show business, and gangster racketeers. His popularity was due mainly to the sensational disclosures for which he became a byword. In the mid-1950s, at the peak of his career, he had an estimated public of more than 35 million readers as a syndicated columnist in more than 2,000 daily newspapers.
Winchell ruled the airwaves from 1930 to 1957, when he captivated radio audiences with his colorful, fast-paced, delivery of entertainment news, gossip, and innuendo. In 1956 he debuted on television, hosting The Walter Winchell Show, a weekly variety program; and from 1957 to 1958 he hosted The Walter Winchell File, a series about the crime stories he had covered while working with the New York City Police Department. Most memorable to television viewers at the time was Winchell's rapid-fire narration on the popular crime drama series The Untouchables (1959–63), based on the 1930s exploits of real-life fbi special agent Elliot Ness and his team, and mobster Al Capone and his henchmen.
The tv biopic Winchell was made in 1998, directed by Paul Mazursky and starring Stanley Tucci in the title role. Winchell was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004.
His book Winchell Exclusive: Things That Happened to Me – and Me to Them was published in 1975.
As founder of the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund in 1946 in memory of his writer friend, Winchell raised millions of dollars for cancer research and care. By 2005 the foundation had invested more than $170 million in cancer research, supporting some 3,000 scientists in the U.S.
H. Weiner, Let's Go to Press: A Biography of Walter Winchell (1955). add. bibliography: H. Klurfeld, Winchell: His Life and Times (1976); M. Machlin, The Gossip Wars (1981); J. Mosedale, The Men Who Invented Broadway (1981); M. Herr, Walter Winchell (1990); N. Gabler, Winchell: Gossip, Power, and the Culture of Celebrity (1994); L. Stuart, The Secret Life of Walter Winchell (2003).
[Bernard Lewis /
Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]
"Winchell, Walter." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchell-walter
"Winchell, Walter." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved December 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchell-walter
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.