Game Show creatorBob Stewart

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Born Isidore Steinberg, Stewart changed his name after losing out on a job because he was Jewish. Stewart was a TV producer who worked in game shows, and started his career by pitching two shows to game show producer Goodson-Todman: Three of a Kind (three contestants claim to be the same person, and a panel tries to guess which one is telling the truth) and The Auctionaire (contestants guess the cost of household products). The first was rejected, but the second became The Price is Right, which debuted in 1956 and is still popular today. Once that hit, they returned to the first: it became To Tell the Truth, which ran from 1956 to 2002.

And while no one knows who came up with the idea for Password, it was Stewart who designed how the game would be played — it was the first show to team up a celebrity with a “civilian.” It ran in various incarnations from 1961 through 1989 (and briefly from 2008–2009). Stewart also created the Pyramid series (usually with a dollar amount in the title, starting at $10,000 and eventually hitting $100,000), which ran for 15 years starting in 1973, and again from 2002–2004. “He was brilliant at creating game shows that America gravitated to,” said game show historian Fred Wostbrock. “It was not uncommon for Bob to have three or four game shows on every day. With his success came big money, but the money never changed him. He wore sneakers. He wore jeans. He ate with the crew.” Stewart held the record for receiving the most Daytime Emmy awards for game show production through 2006 — long past his 1991 retirement. He died May 4 at 91.

From This is True for 6 May 2012