Don McNeill (December 23, 1907 – May 7, 1996) was an American radio personality, best known as the creator and host of The Breakfast Club, which ran for more than thirty years. Events 962 - Byzantine-Arab Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops stormed the city Year 1907 ( MCMVII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses Year 1996 ( MCMXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar) The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Radio is the transmission of signals by Modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible Light. The Breakfast Club was a long-run morning variety show on ABC Radio (and briefly on Television) originating in Chicago Illinois.
McNeill was born in Galena, Illinois, but the family soon moved to Wisconsin, where McNeill graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee. Galena is the largest city in and County seat of Jo Daviess County, Illinois in the United States with an estimated population of 3396 Wisconsin ( or wɪˈskɑnsɨn (French Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States Marquette University is a private coeducational Jesuit, Roman Catholic University located in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He was a first cousin of United States Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, for their mothers were sisters. cousin in Kinship terminology is a relative with whom one shares a common Ancestor, but in modern usage the term is rarely used when referring to a The United States Secretary of Defense ( SECDEF) is the head of the U Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger ( August 18, 1917 &ndash March 28, 2006) was an American politician and Secretary McNeill began his radio career in Milwaukee in 1928, first as a script editor and announcer at station WISN, and later working for the station owned by The Milwaukee Journal. McNeill moved on to Kentucky, working for the Louisville Courier-Journal's station, WHAS then a stint in San Francisco as a comedy act with singer Van Fleming, called "The Two Professors," and finally, following a failed career move to New York City, McNeill wound up back in Illinois in 1933. The Commonwealth of Kentucky ( is a state located in the East Central United States of America. The Courier-Journal, nicknamed the "C-J", is the main Newspaper for the city of Louisville Kentucky, USA WHAS, known by the on air branding as "84 WHAS" is an AM radio station broadcasting in Louisville Kentucky. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city The City of New York Year 1933 ( MCMXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
McNeill had applied for a job at NBC, and sent to Chicago to audition. The National Broadcasting Company ( NBC) is an American Television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. He was assigned to take over an unsponsored early morning variety show called The Pepper Pot, with an 8 AM time slot on the NBC Blue Network (later to become ABC radio). The American Broadcasting Company ( ABC) is an American Television network. McNeill quickly re-organized the hour show as The Breakfast Club, dividing it into four segments, or as McNeill called them, "the four calls to breakfast. "
The show premiered on June 23, 1933, with informal talk and jokes often based on topical events, initially scripted by McNeill, but later performed off the cuff, often with audience interviews. Events 1180 - First Battle of Uji, starting the Genpei War in Japan 1305 - The Flemish Year 1933 ( MCMXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. In its final form, this was surrounded by piano music, various vocal groups and soloists, sentimental verse, and recurring comedy performers. The series would eventually gain a sponsor, Swift and Company. Swift & Company, the wholly-owned operating subsidiary of privately-held McNeill was also credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable format in radio. (Countless local shows, to this day, often refer to themselves as The Breakfast Club).
McNeill briefly attempted to transfer the series to television, as Don McNeill's TV Club (1950-1951). The Breakfast Club was simulcast on television in 1954-1955. McNeill also appeared occasionally on game shows and the like, and in 1963, he hosted the short-lived game show Take Two, built around photo comparisons. Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
McNeill's radio series continued through this time, finally ending in 1968, at which point McNeill retired from entertainment, and from public life. Year 1968 ( MCMLXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. McNeill's Breakfast Club was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989, and he died seven years later, age of 88. Year 1989 ( MCMLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar)