John Charles Daly, VOA’s 12th director, also brought star power to the Voice of America directorship. He had previously gained global recognition as host of the famous CBS nighttime game show, “What’s My Line?” from 1950 to 1967. He began his career as an NBC radio reporter in Washington, DC, then moved to CBS where one of his assignments was White House correspondent. During World War II he reported on-scene from London, the Middle East, Italy, and the D-Day landings in France. Subsequently, Daly, an immigrant from South Africa, took on the role of Vice President at ABC (1952-1960), and was celebrated as an effective reporter and executive that took the organization to new heights.
Additionally, Daly experienced national recognition in radio, delivering the first announcement of the bombing of Pearl Harbor to Americans across the nation. On April 12, 1945, he was also first to announce wire service reports of President Franklin Roosevelt’s death to the public. Mr. Daly was considered highly intelligent, charismatic, and innovative by his peers, and won multiple awards throughout his career including an Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe. His father-in-law, Earl Warren, was 14th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
During his brief tenure as director, he was a firm supporter of VOA’s mission to be a source of accurate, objective, and comprehensive news about the U.S. and the world. He testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, saying, “VOA’s most precious possession is, and will be, its credibility. In these days of explosive communication, may I say, it is sheer folly to presume one can manipulate, or withhold, information to make propaganda.”