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TV Guide Oct. 9, 1951

TV Guide Oct. 9, 1951

Fulton J. Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois in 1895 as the oldest of four boys. Fulton had tuberculosis as a child and the family moved to Peoria where he attended local Catholic schools and served as an altar boy at St. Mary's Cathedral. When he was in high school, he played basket ball against Jim Jordan who later became famous on radio as Fibber McGee of Fibber McGee and Molly. Fulton was ordained as a priest in late 1919 and after many educational venues, he briefly served as a parish priest at St. Patrick's in Peoria. Later in life he hosted a radio program called The Catholic Hour that was very popular but his zenith of fame came in the early 1950s while he was auxillary bishop of Rochester, New York from his television show called Is Life Worth Living? on the DuMont network. One time the rating agencies were suprised that the audience for Is Life Worth Living? was larger than for the top rated very popular Texaco Star Theater with host Milton Berle. When TV Guide asked Milton Berle why the Sheen program has passed his program in the ratings, the Jewish comedican graciously said with humor, "the bishop has better writers than I do." Bishop Sheen took off on the the Berle comment when he won an Emmy Award and thanked his best writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Fulton Sheen died in 1979 and he is buried in St. Patick's Cathedral in New York. In 2002 the Vatican officially opened a cause for cannization of Sheen as a saint but that process requires many years of investigation into all the details of his life. He is now referred to as a Servant of God by the church.

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