Hugh Downs

American broadcaster (1921-2020)

Hugh Downs (born February 14, 1921, in Akron, Ohio) is a long-time American broadcaster, television host, news anchor, TV producer, author, game show host, and music composer.

Hugh Downs


  • Such close observations of apes and birds and dolphins remind us that humanity is part of a great animal kingdom. All species within this kingdom differ from one another in significant ways, to be sure, but the kingdom does not seem to be organized on the superior/inferior hierarchy. Species are merely different from one another; they are not better than, nor more or less advanced than, each other. The core experience of all animal life is strikingly similar.
    • "ABC Radio Perspective on ABC News 20/20 on May 29, 1994"
  • This country is a one-party country. Half of it is called Republican and half is called Democrat. It doesn't make any difference. All the really good ideas belong to the Libertarians.
    • (1997)
  • In today's anti-drug climate, people don't want to hear about the commercial potential of marijuana. The reason is that the flowering top of a female hemp plant contains a drug. But from 1842 through the 1890s a powerful concentrated extract of marijuana was the second most prescribed drug in the United States. In all that time the medical literature didn't list any of the ill effects claimed by today's drug warriors.
    • "Hugh Downs commentary on hemp, for ABC News, NY, 11/90"
  • If hemp could supply the energy needs of the United States, its value would be inestimable. Now that the drug czar is in final retreat, America has an opportunity to, once and for all, say farewell to the Exxon Valdez, Saddam Hussein and a prohibitively expensive brinkmanship in the desert sands of Saudi Arabia.
    • "Hugh Downs commentary on hemp, for ABC News, NY, 11/90"


  • A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
  • I've always thought that the stereotype of the dirty old man is really the creation of a dirty young man who wants the field to himself.
  • I have no ego investment in being on the air. I don't knock others for whom that kind of attention is like oxygen, but I don't miss anything about it.
  • To have a facility like this really adds a world-class potential (to the area), … I'm sure I'll be out here to see some shows.

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