Dick Carson, Emmy Award Winning Director & Norfolk Native Dies at 92

Jan. 11, 2022, 5:19 p.m. ·

Dick Carson in a dark suit with white striped dress shirt and maroon tie photographed against a blue background.
Dick Carson passed away at the age of 92 on December 19th, 2021. (Photo by Kent Warneke, Northeast Community College)

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Emmy award winning director and Norfolk, Nebraska native, Dick Carson, passed away just before Christmas.

Richard Charles Carson was 92 years old when he passed away on December 19th in Studio City, California. Carson was born the youngest of three children in Clarinda, Iowa in 1929. Later, his family settled in Norfolk, Nebraska where he graduated high school in 1947.

Drew DeCamp is a registrar at the Elkhorn Valley Museum in Norfolk which features galleries of the Carson family. DeCamp said Dick Carson had a laid back personality, much like his older brother Johnny.

“He was known for an easy going charm and sense of humor that made him generally likable,” DeCamp said. “He was a private person. He had two spouses, both of which he was married to for a long time.”

In 1952, Carson graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in speech and radio. After serving in the Navy for more than ten years, Carson directed ‘The Tonight Show’ for almost seven years alongside his older brother and the show’s host Johnny Carson. He’ll also be remembered for directing The Merv Griffin Show for 14 years and Wheel of Fortune for more than 20 years.

Carson was married to his first wife Patricia Ann Gundy for 34 years until her passing in 1986. He’s survived by his second wife of 33 years, Karlyn Kuper, three children, three granddaughters, and one great granddaughter.