Born on Monday, May 13, 1929 to Ivers J. and Ailene Eaton Norton, he was the third of six children. Broadcast Pioneers member Paul Louis Norton was a graduate of Georgetown University, a combat Artillery Officer with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Korean War, and an inductee into our the Hall of Fame. Paul Norton was continuously employed for 51 years in broadcasting. He began at his hometown radio station, WHDL, in Olean, New York as announcer in 1946 while a senior in high school.
May 30, 1936
He went on to radio stations in Schenectady and Albany and made three newscasts a day as the "Crosley Reporter" for WKBW Radio in Buffalo. This continued until he was drafted in December of 1950. Paul was sent to Korea as a second lieutenant in 1952. As a forward artillery observer, he penetrated enemy territory to radio in coordinates for artillery fire. He was honorably discharged as first lieutenant in 1953, after fighting in some of the war's most savage conflicts, including Old Baldy, Arrowhead, and Pork Chop Hill, a battle whose outcome was crucial to the peace negotiations ending the war.
Returning from Korea, Paul Norton was employed at WGR in Buffalo, 560 AM as newscaster and disc jockey. He was co-host of an evening game show called "A Shower for the Bride" with Helen Neville that was heard nightly on the station. When the WGR-TV went on the air in 1954, Paul Norton was the first announcer and was employed by the station as weekend weatherman, co-host on a cooking show, a clown called Tommy Tucker on a children's program and general announcing duties including a number of live commercials. He also did the live local cut-ins on the "The Today Show" which the station carried.
In 1956, Paul married Nancy Bieger, who would be his beloved wife for 52 years and with whom he would have five children. Paul Norton went to WTOP-AM and TV, CBS in Washington in that same year, where, while working full time he completed his Bachelor's degree in English at Georgetown. He was employed as a disc jockey, and weatherman. While at CBS his duties included being network announcer for many programs including commentaries by Eric Severeid and Howard K. Smith. He was also a contract employee with Voice of America doing news and Music U.S.A., a world wide jazz program (weekends).
Norton's career in Philadelphia began in 1959 as a disc jockey on WFIL. While there he was also on TV with the weekend weather, and as his duties expanded he did news, weather and sports at the TV station. There were a number of game shows which he hosted that included The Money Movie, The Morning Movie, Racing Time (sponsored by Penn Fruit), The Street Where You Live with his long-time friend Larry Ferrari, with Al Meltzer he hosted "Dolls and Dollars" and for a period co-hosted a morning show with Connie Roussin. Paul stayed with Channel 6 for 37 years.
drawing for Penn Fruit Supermarkets on WFIL-TV
When Capital Cities took over the stations in 1972, Paul Norton began, in addition to his announcing duties, to host the Perspective interview shows on WPVI-TV6. His guests over the next twenty years included the Governors of New Jersey and Delaware and the United States Senators from those states. Pete DuPont, Joe Biden, Bill Bradley, Jim Florio and Tom Kean were regulars on the programs during their tours in office. Paul's dedication to covering human-interest stories led him to other countries and spurred him to conduct an interview while donating a pint of blood. He brought these same talents to the station's religion programs, for which he interviewed clergy of all faiths. He produced "People to People" and the popular Sunday morning show, "Inside Story" with Broadcast Pioneers member Marc Howard for many years. Working with Howard led to an everlasting friendship.
Through the years, Paul Norton was busy with work in various civic associations, serving as President of the Glenside Kiwanis in 1972, and President of the Broadcast Pioneers in 1986. For 22 years, Paul Norton wrote the Broadcast Pioneers Newsletter. His last one was the August 2008 issue which went to members, as scheduled, on August 6th, the day Paul died.
Paul Norton & Senator Joe Biden
on the set of "Perspectives" on WPVI-TV
Paul Norton continued to be active during his retirement years in Lewes, Delaware. In June of 2000, the Delaware House of Representatives presented Paul with an achievement award on the floor of the House for his dedication to the coverage of worthwhile causes. He was welcomed officially to Delaware by the state legislature in March, 2001.
In 2002, he was appointed to a term on the Board of Elections of Delaware, by Governor Ruth Ann Minner, for which position he was unanimously approved by the Delaware Senate. He was President (2002-2004) of the MOAA (Military Officers Association of Southern Delaware). He taught Communications at Delaware Technical and Community College, and was guest lecturer at Wilmington College. He was on the Boards of the Sussex Family YMCA, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, Rotary Club of Lewes Rehoboth, and a member of the Ad Hoc Radio Theatre Group of Possum Point Players and the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club of Pilottown Village. He and his wife, Nancy, bicycle daily to Cape Henlopen Park, and enjoy having their five children (four sons, and a daughter), and two grandsons visit.
In the early hours of Wednesday, August 6, 2008, Paul Norton suffered a massive, life-threatening stroke and passed away early the next morning.
Known Time Periods
Saturday, July 16, 1960 - 7 pm to 8 pm - WFIL Radio - The Paul Norton Show (At 8 pm, Phillies vs. Milwaukee Braves)
© 2004, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved
The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is email@example.com