Loved by millions as America’s favorite game show host and co-creator of Let’s Make a Deal Monty Hall has passed away at the age of 96


Monty Hall was an icon of American TV nostalgia, and now at the ripe old age of 96, this game show legend has died. Generations of audiences’ recall with sentimentality his engaging personality and voice. He graced TV screens as the host of one of America’s most beloved TV shows Let’s Make a Deal for 23 years.

However, it was only the Canadian political climate during that time that inadvertently propelled him in a career direction extremely different from his initial intentions. Initially, Hall acquired a Bachelor of Science and applied to medical school. However anti-Semitic discrimination at the time saw that he did not make a “secret quota” of Jews into the school and had to seek an alternative career.



Hall loved the sound of an applause

Hall truly had the last laugh, as political hatred turned into a deep love and affection when he graced the living rooms of millions of Americans every week. After all, he claims, he had always liked the sound of an applause while he participated in the University of Manitoba’s student theatre group. Then, after working in radio, and developing quiz shows, he eventually received a break on television, when he hosted a dance program.

After moving to the United States, Hall sought regular work with NBC, CBS and on various radio stations. His first stint on a TV game show was a program called Keep Talking. This experience led to his 1963 participation in co-creating what would become the legendary Let’s Make a Deal. The show remained popular for decades, and it continues with new host Wayne Brody.


The legendary Let’s Make a Deal

Hall would go on to host various other game shows. But it would be Let’s Make a Deal for which Americans will most remember him. Contestants would dress up in outrageous costumes. They hoped this would entice Hall to pick them to “make a deal.” Audience member’s excitement was palpable to viewers. Women shrieked and men gushed as they made choices between money or “whatever is behind the door.

One unusual legacy Hall has left behind is a mathematical conundrum that became known as the “Monty Hall Problem.” This brain teaser works through the probability of winning the final game on Hall’s beloved game show. The final contestants would have to pick a grand prize behind a choice of one of three doors. According to the statistics, contestants were more likely to win the grand prize if they always switched their choice of a door when Hall offered for them to do so.


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Hall was so much more than just a famous game show host

He is equally known for his philanthropy. Hall claims he picked up his philanthropic values from his mother, who spent much of her time doing charity work. Hall’s daughter Sharon Hall estimates that her father raised nearly $1 billion during his lifetime, which he donated to charity. Mount Sinai Hospital and Hahnemann University Hospital recognised Hall’s charitable efforts. Both hospitals have named wards in his honor.

The family was core to Hall. His marriage lasted almost 70 years until his wife passed away only this June. Hall suffered a heart attack not long after his wife Marilyn’s passing. It appears as though he never recovered from the sadness of her loss. So rarely seen in show business, America can also remember Hall for being a strong family man. He was a devoted husband right up till the end. He died surrounded by loved ones, of heart failure, in his Beverly Hills home.

Hall is survived by his three children, Joanna Gleason, Richard Hall and Sharon Hall. Each of his children has followed their father into show business. All of them carrying on a sentimental family tradition of one of America’s greatest TV legends.


References: CNN, Winnipeg Free Press, New York Times
Image Collage Credit: Public Domain