- Frank Edwards (writer and broadcaster)
Frank Edwards (
August 4, 1908- June 23, 1967) was an American writer and broadcaster, and one of the pioneers in radio. Late in his life, he became well-known for a series of books about UFOs.
Early life and career
Mattoon, Illinois, Edwards broadcast on pioneering radio station KDKA AMin the 1920s, making him one of the earliest professional radio broadcasters.
During the '30s, Edwards continued his career in radio, but also worked a variety of other jobs, including a stint as a professional
golfer. He was hired by the Treasury Departmentduring World War IIto promote war bondsales.
National radio, UFOs and controversy
After WWII, the
Mutual Broadcasting Systemhired Edwards to host a nationwide news and opinion program sponsored by the American Federation of Labor. Edwards' program was a success, and became nationally popular.
In 1948, Edwards received an advance copy of "Flying Saucers Are Real," a magazine article written by retired U.S. Marine Corps. Major
Donald E. Keyhoe. Though already interested in the UFOreports that had earned widespread publicity since 1947, Edwards was captivated by Keyhoe's claims that the U.S. military knew the saucers were actually extraterrestrial spaceships.
Edwards began mentioning UFOs on his radio program, and wrote several books on the subject.
He was fired from the radio program in 1954, for reasons that remain uncertain. His interest in UFOs was believed to be a factor, [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,823515-3,00.html "Time" magazine,]
August 23, 1954.] but Edwards' editor and friend Rory Stuart [see Stuart's preface to the anthology "The Strange World of Frank Edwards" (Lyle Stuart Inc, 1977)] wrote " [AFL President] George Meany insisted that Frank Edwards not mention any [competing labor union] CIO labor leaders on his program. He flatly refused and was fired." In spite of thousands of letters in protest of his dismissal, Edwards was not reinstated.
After being fired from Mutual, Edwards continued working in radio, mostly at smaller local stations. He created and hosted a syndicated radio program, "Stranger Than Science", which discussed UFOs and other
Forteana. In 1959 he published a book with the same title that was largely a collection of his radio broadcasts.
Edwards made an appearance on the
Johnny Carson-era "Tonight Show", in October, 1966.Fact|date=March 2008 The episode was guest-hosted by singers Steve Lawrenceand Eydie Gorme. Unfortunately, though Carson saved videos of the show past about 1969, this episode is presumed lost. On that telecast, Gorme made references to the fact that she enjoyed various science-fiction shows, like " Star Trek" and " Time Tunnel", and Edwards made various references to experts' sightings of UFOs, to promotehis then-current book, "Flying Saucers--Serious Business!"
It is one of the myths of
ufologythat Edwards died on June 24, 1967, exactly 20 years after Kenneth Arnold's famous first "flying saucer" sighting. Actually, Edwards died a few minutes before midnight, on the evening of June 23, but his death was announced at the Congress of Scientific Ufologists in New York City on June 24, 1967. The attendees were shocked into silence by the news.
Books authored by Frank Edwards include:
*"My First 10,000,000 Sponsors"
*"Strangest of All", New York: Lyle Stuart, 1956.
*"Stranger than Science", New York: Lyle Stuart, 1959.
*"Strange World", New York: Lyle Stuart, 1964.
*"Flying Saucers - Serious Business", New York: Lyle Stuart, 1966.
*"Flying Saucers - Here and Now!"
*Clark, Jerome. 1998. "The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon From The Beginning: Volume 1: A-K". Detroit: Omnigraphics.
*Story, Ronald: "The Encyclopedia of UFOs". Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-385-13677-3.
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