“Visionary” Merv Griffin Dies

By Chris Ariens 

Merv Griffin, who was producing up until his final weeks of life, died today of prostate cancer. Griffin was one of Hollywood’s most boundless executives. He began his career as a singer, hosted “The Merv Griffin Show” for more than 20 years, created the hit game shows Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy! and, later in life, became a real estate magnate.

“My father was a visionary,” Griffin’s son, Tony Griffin, said in a statement issued today. “He loved business and continued his many projects and holdings even while hospitalized.” Griffin’s latest project Merv Griffin’s Crosswords premieres in syndication next month.

Griffin was a guest on FOX & Friends just last month. In what would be his last interview, Brian Kilmeade asked Griffin about his legacy and how his television show impacted politics: “The Kennedy White House would call my producer,” Griffin said, “so they became aware of how valuable the talk shows were to a candidate.” “The 23 years I did my show, nobody knew what my political affiliations were.” Merv Griffin was 82.