|Date of Birth||20 November 1908, Salford, Lancashire, England, UK|
|Date of Death||30 March 2004, New York City, New York, USA (lung and bone cancer)|
|Birth Name||Alfred Alistair Cooke|
Mini Bio (1)
British-born American journalist and broadcaster. Cooke was born in Salford, Manchester: his father was an iron-fitter and Methodist lay-preacher. He grew up in Blackpool where his parents ran a guest house. Here he first came into contact with Americans, in the form of GIs on their way to fight in World War One. He won a scholarship to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he studied English. A fellowship from the Commonwealth Fund subsequently enabled him to study theatre at Yale and Harvard for two years. In 1934 he got his first broadcasting job, as a film critic for the BBC, but soon returned to the States and in 1941 became a US citizen. For a time he worked as a freelance journalist for The Times, reporting from New York. Then in 1945 he joined The Guardian as its US correspondent, a position he held until 1972. His first job was to cover the creation of the United Nations. In March 1946 he began a radio programme for the BBC called "American Letter". This was a series of 15-minute broadcasts in which he tried to give an impression of life in America. Cooke was warned by the producer that this would last no longer than 26 weeks: in the event, as "Letter from America", it lasted for 58 years, becoming the world's longest-running speech radio programme. Cooke made in total 2869 broadcasts, mostly from his 15th-floor flat on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park. Memorable broadcasts included his eyewitness account of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He also broadcast on American TV, presenting "Omnibus" in the 1950s and from 1971 to 1993 presenting British programmes to American viewers for PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" series. A much-respected figure on both sides of the Atlantic, he was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, and addressed Congress as part of the bicentennial celebrations. At the age of 95, having been forced to miss a broadcast due to his increasing ill-health, Cooke decided to end "Letter from America" (having in the past made 16 broadcasts from a hospital bed). The last programme was transmitted on 2nd March 2004 and he died less than a month later.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Peter Brynmor Roberts
|Jane White Hawkes||(30 April 1946 - 30 March 2004) (his death) (1 child)|
|Ruth Emerson||(24 August 1934 - 1944) (divorced) (1 child)|