Also Known As: Henry Lerner Von Ost Jr.
Born: March 31, 1915
Died: May 19, 1994
Years on IGaS: 1952-1967 (and later in 1976)
Family Information: Henry was married to a woman named Isobel Gibbs that only lasted six months, and in 1978* he married Karen Sorensen (after she was married she added “Morgan” to become Karen Sorensen Morgan). She was Merv Griffin’s assistant. He has a son named Steve Robinson by a woman “who refused [to get an abortion]. She explained that she had flown East specifically in order to have my child.” As of 1994 Steve lived in L.A. Henry’s mother was named Eva Lerner, and his brother was named Roger. Scroll to the bottom of this page for pictures! Alan J. Lerner (the songwriter) was his cousin.
A lot of the above information was fixed/added by Dana Duffy. Thanks Dana! (more comments from Dana below)
* I originally had 1969 (with a question mark) as the wedding date. I’m not sure where I got that number from, but I believe it was by working backwards from another date. Anyway, Dana says it was 1978.
On the Set:
Henry was often grouchy on the show, sometimes not even wanting to participate in the questioning! That was just his schtick though. Henry is my favorite panelist. He is actually very funny and loveable deep down. Being the only bachelor on the show, he was often joked about, and they even had a “Marry Henry Morgan” drive! You can read a transcript of one such secret on the transcripts page.
Henry was thought to be a communist and during the Red Scare they had to fight to keep Henry on the show. You can read all about that in my Here’s Morgan Book Review.
- None yet
Known as “The original bad boy of radio,” Henry started as a page boy at New York radio station WMCA in 1932. He eventually became an announcer. He was given his own daily series in 1940 at New York’s WOR. He gained many fans with his sarcastic commentary and routines. He returned to another comedy program after two years of war service. He then began “The Henry Morgan Show” on ABC in 1946. He hosted “TVer Henry Morgan and Company” in 1959. Occasionally he would accept roles in films such as “Murder, Inc.” in 1960.
Henry’s TV and film credits are sometimes confused with Harry Morgan from Dragnet and MASH, who often used the name Henry (Harry) Morgan.
There was no funeral for Mr. Morgan, but there was a memorial party held at Sardi’s Restaurant on June 7, 1994. In a piece he wrote for the New York Times Magazine in June of 1948, he critiqued his own film, “So This is New York” as being “so-so” (you have to respect someone for doing that!).
Part of the reason Henry was a longtime bachelor was because his first wife was, for lack of a better word, an absolute rhymes-with-witch. Just to reference a few mentions of her in his book, she moved them to a new apartment in his building, without even asking him; redecorated their bedroom in another apartment, again without consulting him, then informed him that it was her room, so she didn’t have to get his opinion; and had a piece of his antique furniture sent our for mutilation, yet again without telling him. After the divorce, she spent literally decades hounding him for alimony (the court battles lasted far longer than the marriage did), and he eventually had to move to Canada for several years to avoid being sent to jail. After all of that, I’d stay single, too.
Just for the record, he also had a long-term relationship with opera singer Joanna Simon (Carly’s sister) and was involved with his second wife for a decade before they decided to get married (that time, it lasted till death did them part).
Henry wrote a book called, “Here’s Morgan! The Original Bad Boy of Broadcasting.” It is 299 pages long and can be purchased at www.abebooks.com. You can read passages from the book and see the table of contents in my Here’s Morgan Book Review in the Articles section!