PHOTOS OF FRED THROWER
Mitch’s father, Fred Thrower, lived a life rich with adventure and success. Here are some of the photos throughout his life.
During his life, Fred served as a Navy Lieutenant and a Special Intelligence officer in the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) during World War II. His service brought him to historic places such as, Omaha Beach (D-Day), the German front lines, London, Paris, China, Egypt, India, and much more.
Fred Thrower was born in 1910 in Tampa, Florida. Aside from battle scene reenactments with toy soldiers, Fred was far too young for war. Even at age eight when WWI was ending, he felt helpless; he vowed to find a way to one day serve others. If he couldn’t fight for his country, he would become a doctor. Accepted at the University of Virginia, he was spending a few months in New York before his pre-med studies were to commence. But a telegram from his father in Tampa arrived in October 1929, halting his plans: “Banks closed. Send money for college back home. Get a job." Fred remained in NYC and began working for a radio station, thus commencing his broadcasting career.
Broadcasting Career Photos
Before enlisting in WWII, Fred worked in various positions at the Blue Network (predecessor of the American Broadcasting Company “ABC") for 13 years. At just thirty-two years old, he delivered a presentation to the board so convincing that they rewrote company policy to allow, for the first time in the company’s history, an existing low-ranking employee to fill an executive role. They promoted Fred to Vice President of Sales. On an evening in early 1943 in Washington DC, after walking in the rain, humming the tunes of “The White Cliffs of Dover,” Fred enlisted that evening in the United States Navy. Upon his return from serving in the war, Fred became general manager of WPIX-Channel 11, an independent station. He held the position for 19 years before becoming chairman in 1972. In 1966, he had the idea of televising a burning Yule log on Christmas Eve for the benefit of people who had no hearth of their own. The first log burned in the fireplace at Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's residence, accompanied by Christmas music.
Personal & Family Photos