Charles Osgood (born Charles Osgood Wood, III on January 8, 1933) is a radio and television commentator in the United States. His daily program, The Osgood File, has been broadcast on the CBS Radio Network since 1971. Osgood hosts CBS News Sunday Morning. He is also known for being the voice of the narrator of Horton Hears a Who!, an animated film released in 2008, based on the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.
Early life and education
Osgood was born in the Bronx, New York City. He moved with his family to the Liberty Heights neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, as a child. He wrote a book about growing up in Baltimore during World War II called Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack. He graduated from Fordham University in 1954 with a bachelor of science degree in economics. While at Fordham, Osgood worked at the university's FM radio station, WFUV.
Author and journalism
He writes a biweekly syndicated newspaper column and is the author of six books: Nothing Could Be Finer Than a Crisis That Is Minor in the Morning (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1979); There's Nothing That I Wouldn't Do If You Would Be My POSSLQ (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1981); Osgood on Speaking: How to Think on Your Feet Without Falling on Your Face (William Morrow and Company, 1988); The Osgood Files (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1991); See You on the Radio (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1999); and the most recent, Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack (Hyperion, 2004).
Radio and television
In August 1967, Osgood anchored the first morning drive shift for WCBS after its conversion to an all-news format. The twist was that the first day of all-news programming actually aired on WCBS-FM after an airplane crashed into the AM station's antenna tower on New York's High Island, keeping WCBS off air until a temporary tower could be erected.
Osgood is host of Dial Global's The Osgood File, heard four times each weekday morning drive time on radio stations nationwide. Each three-minute Osgood File focuses on a single story ranging from a breaking development of national importance to a whimsical human-interest vignette. Some of these he does in rhyme, which is why he is known as CBS's "Poet in Residence."
On television, Osgood has been hosting CBS News Sunday Morning since 1994, having succeeded former host Charles Kuralt. Osgood's tenure as host has now exceeded that of Kuralt. He has also anchored the CBS Afternoon News and the CBS Morning News.
Among his personal trademarks are his bow-tie, his weekly TV signoff "Until then, I'll see you on the radio," and his propensity for delivering his commentaries in whimsical verse. Example: When the Census Bureau invented a designation for cohabitant(s) as "Person(s) of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters", or "POSSLQ", Osgood turned it into a pronounceable three-syllable word and composed a prospective love poem that included these lines, which became the title of one of his books:
- There's nothing that I wouldn't do
- If you would be my POSSLQ
Osgood also made a habit of pronouncing the years 2001, 2002, etc., as "twenty oh one, twenty oh two..." as opposed to the more commonly pronounced "two thousand one, two thousand two", etc., no doubt choosing consistency over trend, as the 1990s, e.g., were pronounced beginning with "nineteen ninety" instead of the more cumbersome "one thousand nine hundred ninety."
Charles Osgood was in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1959 and served as a member of The United States Army Band (Pershing's Own) in Washington, D.C. His duties included performing with The United States Army Chorus and as master of ceremonies for the U.S. Army Concert Band. He is also an accomplished pianist.
Osgood and his wife, Jean, have five children: Kathleen, Winston, Anne-E., Emily J., and Jamie.
Osgood's nephew, Emmy Award-winning composer Christopher Mangum, composes film scores, including themes for National Geographic specials and The Discovery Channel.
Osgood was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in the radio division in 1990.
- at the National Radio Hall of Fame