The Today Show, is an American morning news and talk show airing weekday mornings on NBC. In pre-production, the proposed title was The Rise and Shine Revue. Debuting on January 14, 1952, it was the first of its genre, spawning similar morning news and entertainment television programs across the United States and around the world.
Legendary pioneering NBC president Sylvester "Pat" Weaver picked Dave Garroway to host his new morning news and entertainment experiment, the Today show. Garroway soon was joined by news editor Jim Fleming and announcer Jack Lescoulie as television's first family of the airwaves when the show debuted on Monday, January 14, 1952.
Though initially panned by critics, Garroway's style attracted a large audience that enjoyed his easygoing presence early in the morning. His seriousness in dealing with news stories and ability to clearly explain abstract concepts earned him the nickname "The Communicator" and eventually won praise from critics and viewers alike.
Garroway had a vast curiosity that led Today wherever his ideas took it—to Paris in 1959 and Rome in 1960, to car shows and technology expos, to plays and movies, and even on board an Air Force B-52 for a practice bombing run—in short, everywhere in the world then accessible to television.
When the show couldn't go outside to the world, the world was brought into the studio, evidenced by the parade of politicians, writers, artists, scientists, economists, musicians, and many more who visited Garroway and company in the RCA Exhibition Hall, then, The Today Show's home on West 49th Street in Manhattan.
LINK: All photographs are from the LIFE Magazine Archives dated January 1952 - Photographer: Peter Stackpole.