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Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
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Although Johnny Carson was born in Corning, Iowa (October 23, 1925), he always claimed Nebraska as his home. His parents were Homer "Kit" Lloyd Carson, a power company manager, and Ruth Hook Carson. Carson had one brother, Dick, and a sister, Catherine.

His family moved to Norfolk, Nebraska when Carson was eight years old. Carson grew up at 304 13th Street in Norfolk.

Johnny Carson boyhood home
Johnny Carson's childhood home in Norfolk, Nebraska

As a teenager in Norfolk, Carson developed a flair for magic and debuted as The Great Carsoni doing magic tricks at age 14.

After graduating from Norfolk High School in 1943, Carson  enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 8, 1943, as an apprentice seaman enrolled in the V-5 program, which trained Navy and Marine pilots.

After returning home from the Navy, Carson attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. At the University, Carson was active in Kosmet Klub.

Carson's fraternity won first place in the 1947 Kosmet Klub fall revue for their skit, "She Was Only a Pharaoh’s Daughter, But She Never Became a Mummy," which featured Carson as Cleopatra.

see photo of Carson as Cleopatra>


Johnny Carson's Kosmet Klub photo

Carson graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1949 where he received a bachelor of arts degree in radio and speech with a minor in physics.

Next >

Johnny Carson biography
1  |  2  |  3  |  Photos  | UNL news release


Johnny Carson

Time Magazine
May 19, 1967

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Born: October 23, 1925, Corning, Iowa

Birth name: John William Carson

Grew up and attended school in Norfolk, Nebraska

Graduate, University of Nebraska

Married four times, three children

Died: January 23, 2005
Los Angeles, California

 

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