Mark Goodson (January 14, 1915 - December 18, 1992) was a successful American television producer who specialized in game shows.
Early Life & Career
Mark Goodson was born in Sacramento, California on January 14, 1915. His parents, Abraham Ellis and Fannie Goodson, emigrated from Russia in the early 1900s. As a child, Goodson acted in amateur theater with the Plaza Stock Company. The family later moved to Hayward, California. Originally intending to become a lawyer, Goodson attended the University of California, Berkeley. He financed his education through scholarships and by working at the Lincoln Fish Market. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1937 with a degree in Economics. That year, he began his broadcasting career in San Francisco, working as a disc jockey at station KJBS. In 1939 he joined radio station KFRC, where he produced and hosted a radio quiz called "Pop the Question" in which contestants selected questions by throwing darts at multi-colored balloons.
In 1941, Goodson married his first wife, Bluma Neveleff, and moved to New York City, where he teamed up with partner Bill Todman. The pair's first radio show, Winner Take All, premiered on CBS in 1946. Outside of television production, Goodson and Todman went on to own several newspapers in New England as well as radio station KOL in Seattle, Washington. Bill Todman died in 1979, and in the early 1980s the Goodsons acquired the Todman heirs' portion of the company.
Goodson had two children, Jill and Jonathan (1945–), by his first wife Bluma, and a daughter, Marjorie (who was a prize model on Classic Concentration from July 1987 until its finale in September 1991), by his second wife Virginia McDavid, Miss Alabama 1953. In 1972, he married his third wife, Suzanne Waddell, who had once been a guest on What's My Line?. They divorced in 1978. Goodson also had a brother, Marvin (November 6, 1918 – July 7, 2007), who was an attorney.
Goodson died on December 18, 1992 of pancreatic cancer in New York City, He was 77. He is buried in Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California, along with his parents.
Mark Goodson's shows dominate the GSN and Buzzr lineup due to the fact that his company saved most of their shows while other shows by other companies were wiped to reuse the tapes.