Broadcasting Pioneer Ralph Edwards Dies

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Broadcasting pioneer Ralph Edwards, host of the popular 1950s "This Is Your Life" television show, died Wednesday of heart failure, his publicist said. He was 92.

Publicist Justin Seremet confirmed that Edwards, whose career as producer and host included "Truth or Consequences" and "People's Court," had died.

Edwards first hit it big in radio in 1940 with "Truth or Consequences," a novelty show in which contestants who failed to answer trick questions -- the "truth" -- had to suffer "the consequences" by performing some elaborate stunt.

Then came television. The Federal Communications Commission approved commercial broadcasts beginning on July 1, 1941, after a few years of experimental broadcasts, and NBC's New York station was the first to make the changeover.

"Amazingly enough, I did 'Truth or Consequences' on television in July 1941. It was the first commercial show for NBC," Edwards recalled.

"A 10-second commercial was $9," he said.

The United States' entry into World War II five months later disrupted TV's progress. "Truth or Consequences," which prospered on radio in the interim, returned to television in 1950.