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Kirby, Durward



  • Existence: August 24, 1911 - March 15, 2000

Biographical Information

Durward Kirby was born in Covington, Kentucky on August 24, 1912. His family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, when he was 15. Kirby graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, then entered Purdue University to study mechanical engineering (Class of 1934). However, he dropped out to become a radio announcer.

He served in the United States Navy during World War II. Following the war, he hosted Club Matinee with Gary Moore on the NBC Blue radio network before moving to television in 1949 as an announcer. He was a regular on Moore's television shows from 1950 to 1968.

Kirby also appeared as a host, announcer, or guest on other television programs. A versatile performer, he acted in sketches, sang, and danced. He moved with ease from slapstick to suave sales pitches for sponsor's product. Critic John Crosby called him 'one of the most versatile muggers and comedians on the air.'

Kirby also wrote three books: My Life, Those Wonderful Years, Bits and Pieces of This and That, and a children's book, Dooley Wilson.

Durward Kirby died of congestive heart failure in Fort Myers, Florida in 2000 at the age of 87. He was buried next to his wife in Coburn Cemetery in Fairfield County, Connecticut, where he had a summer home. He was survived by his two sons.


Retrieved August 5, 2010 from:

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Collection on Durward Kirby

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 8, Placement: 16
Identifier: MSA 155
Scope and Contents 'Didn't you used to be Durward Kirby?' The Indianapolis Star, Thursday, July 30, 1987 (Life/Style section).
Dates: July 30, 1987