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Merv Griffin, the mogul who hosted an eponymous talk show for more than 20 years, created the globally popular game shows “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” and oversaw a diversified empire via the Griffin Group, died Sunday of prostate cancer in Los Angeles (HR 8/13). He was 82.
He recently had been diagnosed with a recurrence of the cancer that he had overcome a decade ago.
Griffin’s influence resonates through myriad industries: He began his career in the 1940s as a singer, then became a Warner Bros. contract actor, starred on Broadway, segued to TV host, created game shows, started a production company and eventually owned hotels, casinos, radio stations and more.
“My father was a visionary,” Griffin’s son, Tony Griffin, said Sunday. “He loved business and continued his many projects and holdings even while hospitalized.”
When Griffin entered a hospital a month ago, he was working on the first week of production of a new syndicated game show, “Merv Griffin’s Crosswords.”
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