“Dave Garroway knew the secret of television.
He knew how to be a perfect guest in millions of homes at once.
Before it was all over, he was family.”
– Tom Shales
The Garroway at Large website functions in support of a biographical project we’re conducting about the life and accomplishments of Dave Garroway. Although Garroway began working on a memoir during the 1970s, the project never made it past initial notes and drafts, which have sat in archival collections for many years.
We believe it’s a shame Dave Garroway’s story has never been told in the detail it merits. Like his contemporary Arthur Godfrey, also a champion of the personal, one-on-one style with audiences, Garroway influenced just about everything that came after him…but isn’t remembered for it. Instead, Garroway’s too often remembered for sharing the screen with J. Fred Muggs, considered “weird” because of his personal troubles, or remembered for the way he ended his life. And while those were aspects of the Garroway story, there was so much more that’s not often explored, and so much more that’s worth telling. While Pat Weaver had the vision of early-morning television, it took the gentle style of Dave Garroway to make it work, make it popular, and set a style that’s followed to this day. And it’s well past time the story of a broadcasting pioneer, a man with a bottomless well of fascinations who did so much with his 69 years, had his story told in full – with honesty and dignity.
Our mission has taken us to libraries and collections far and near, as close as newspaper and oral history database searches from our homes and offices, and as far-ranging as archives in Maryland and Wisconsin; the halls and studios of NBC in New York, where Garroway spent so much of his career; to Florida to interview an original Today crewmember; and other places vital to the Garroway story. With the help of video librarians we’ve been able to view footage not seen by the general public in decades, footage that takes us beyond the brief clips seen in retrospective specials. All of this, and more to come, will help inform our book and make it the best we possibly can.
And this is where you may be able to help.
We’re seeking people who knew Dave Garroway, who worked with him, or who have recollections of personal experiences with the man. We’d especially be interested in interviewing his family members, if we possibly can. While it’s easy enough to reconstruct the events of Dave Garroway’s life from documents and recordings and articles, we’re really seeking to capture, while we’re at it, what the man himself was like.
We’re also looking for other materials. Perhaps a relative of yours worked for NBC, or for one of the stations where Garroway worked, and you ended up with some rare documents that may help tell our story. Or maybe you have a candid photo of Garroway you’d be willing to share, or maybe some rare Garroway recordings or footage previously thought lost forever. We’d sure love if you’d share it with us. All materials will be carefully handled and returned with our gratitude.
If you think you may have something that’s of interest to our efforts, drop us a note through the “Contact” link in the top menu. We’d love to hear from you!
With much thanks, and peace,
The staff of Garroway at Large