Dennis James, the Early TV Host Who Did It All


With a slick delivery and relatable charm, James came up during TV's early days and went on to become a household name.

Dennis James Sposa (August 24, 1917 – June 3, 1997) got into TV at the ground floor in New York in 1938 with DuMont, a television equipment and set manufacturer that launched a network to rival CBS and NBC.

James went on to become the first host of a TV variety show and the first host of a TV sports show, and eventually hosted “The Price Is Right” from 1972-79, and “Name That Tune” from 1974-75.

Born in Jersey City, N.J. to Demetrio Ernest Sposa and Teresa Amorosi, James started out in radio before joining DuMont.

His early TV work included Cash and Carry, which was set in a mock grocery store, and the variety show “Okay, Mother.”

He was also an announcer on “The Original Amateur Hour” for many years.

James raised millions of dollars for charitable causes, and passed away at the age of 79 in June 1997.

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