Robert Earle

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Robert Earle
Born(1926-01-05)January 5, 1926
DiedJune 5, 2019(2019-06-05) (aged 93)
OccupationGame show host, voice actor
Years active1962–1975

Robert Earle (January 5, 1926 – June 5, 2019) was a host of G.E. College Bowl, an American game show that was broadcast first by CBS, later by NBC. Earle was the second host of the show, succeeding Allen Ludden, who left the show in 1962 to host Password. Earle hosted College Bowl during its entire NBC run, from 1962 to 1970.


Veteran broadcaster (and Ithaca College media professor) Robert Earle had the same coloring and well-spoken manner as Allen Ludden. Columnist Bob Stahl wrote in TV Guide (Jan. 25, 1964), "When Earle first took over the show... a number of viewers noted his physical resemblance to Ludden. Both are fairly short, have sandy hair, wear horn-rimmed glasses, and sound almost alike." According to Ludden's wife Betty White (from her memoir Here We Go Again), the College Bowl producers deliberately emphasized the resemblance: "They took [Robert] to Allen's optometrist and ordered the same tortoiseshell frames that Allen wore at the time." The pleasant, unflappable Earle projected a calmer, more academic demeanor than Ludden had, which served the tone of the series well until 1970, when the series lapsed. (The sponsor thought it unwise to continue the series while student unrest was in the news.)

After College Bowl, Robert Earle became a familiar face and voice in television commercials. On the weekly Gadabout Gaddis program The Flying Fisherman, Earle represented the sponsor, Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Earle hosted a game show pilot for ABC in 1975 called King of the Hill. The pilot did not sell, but the premise was adopted in 1978 as Card Sharks.[1]

In the early 1950s, Earle was also an announcer and news anchor for Utica, New York television station WKTV. After he left the station, he was replaced at the anchor desk by Dick Clark, another up-and-coming television personality.[2]

Earle lived in Ithaca, New York where he was a media lecturer at Ithaca College. He served in the United States Navy.[3] He died on June 5, 2019, at age 93.[3]

Preceded by
Allen Ludden
G.E. College Bowl host
Succeeded by
(Show cancelled)


  1. ^ Game Show Pilot Light-King of the Hill
  2. ^ Rock, Roll and Remember, by Dick Clark and Richard Robinson (New York, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1976)
  3. ^ a b "Longtime TV host & Ithaca College lecturer dies". 870 AM 97.7FM News Talk WHCU. WHCU. Retrieved 7 June 2019.