On the 23rd of
December, 1907---there arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry McNeill in Galena,
Illinois, a 10 lb. son whom they named Donald Thomas---later shortened to Don
sometimes spelled D-a-w-n because he has to get up so early in the morning.
Don's mother reports that soon after being born, he had a severe fit of choking,
which is his first known gag.
Now he describes himself as the tall, dark and homey type. He says, "I'm
just two inches shorter than a bean pole (6 ft. 2 1/2 in., to be exact), my hair
is brown since I last washed it, my eyes are blue, I weigh 195 soaking wet, and
my favorite hobby, besides fishing and hunting, is chopping down trees, cutting
grass and digging in the dirt---or golf to you."
Don's family moved to Sheboygan, Wis., a city noted for "Cheese, chairs and
children." Don refuses to state in which category he places himself. He distinguished
Sheboygan by moving from there at the age of 17 for Marquette University from
which he graduated in 1929. He had already been on the air over a Milwaukee station
for a year after which he was fired. "No future for you in the radio business,"
said the boss. He got a job as radio editor and announcer on another Milwaukee
station, then to Louisville, Kentucky, thence to San Francisco, and on to Chicago
and the Breakfast Club in 1933.
to the 1942 Breakfast Club Family Album index page