Sunday, May 8, 2016

Remembering Ruth Lyons

Ruth Lyons
Credit: WLW/Crosley Broadcasting Corporation

The Crosley Square Building in downtown Cincinnati

 Tom tells me this was the studio location of Lyons 50-50 Club. But we weren't here to see that. We were here to see Lyons actual home ...

 Ruth Lyons home at 5205 Colerain Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Cincinnati is for sale. I asked Tom if we might drive by and see the place. He scoped it out a day before and on Saturday, May 7 we made a stop.

 There is a wooded lane leading to the house which is well-removed from the road. I suppose this was planned as it affords ample privacy for a woman who was probably Cincinnati's first superstar.

 The house was featured in the August 1958 issue of American Home Magazine. The house has three baths and four bedrooms.

 Current asking price for the home and 4.59 acres is $350,000 (reduced on 4/12/16); the original asking price was $475,000. The house was built in 1866 (it is precisely 150 years old).

 At the side of the house (distant view to the left) is an in-ground swimming pool.

 Turning to leave the property, we drove back out the lane to Colerain. This is the view Lyons would have seen every morning when she went to work.

 And finally Colerain Avenue again.

 Ruth Lyons and her husband, Herman Newman, sold the home to Ron Sweitzer in 1971. Lyons 50-50 Club, on WLWT in Cincinnati, aired in the 1950's and 1960's and is said to have paved the way for the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres.

Lyons career came to an end after her 21-year old daughter, Candy Newman, died of cancer. Lyons suffered a stroke in 1966 and retired from broadcasting the next year (January 27, 1967). She died November 7, 1988 at 83..

 Read more about the house and view interior pictures at a WCPO post (click here).
 For more about Lyons herself, check out her Wikipedia entry here.

 My grandparents attended a taping of the show and I was told my grandfather, Elwood Schmidt, a Miamisburg undertaker, was briefly questioned by Lyons. I assume it was during a period in 1951 when NBC carried the show. I know that interview was heard in Texas by some of our relatives. The TV show began in May 1949,

Later (May 21, 2016) ...

 Tom and I visited Ruth Lyons "grave", actually an urn at Hillside Chapel. It's located at 525 Martin Luther King Drive W in Cincinnati. Here's a useful link.

 The entire family - Herman, Candy and Ruth - are interred there together.

 Herman is on top, Candy's urn is in the middle and Ruth is on the bottom.

 The room is shared by countless urns. There are several rooms at the Hillside Chapel. The Newman family is centered in this picture.

Herman Andrew Newman, 11-27-06 to 2-16-91

Candace Laird Newman, 8-27-44 to 6-19-66. Also inscribed is " Our Dearly Beloved Little Princess"

Ruth Evelyn Newman, 10-4-07 to 11-7-88

 Ruth Lyons urn is inside this door and to the left. Her urn is in the first room to the right, controlled by a sensor that turns on the lights  when you enter.

Hillside Chapel

 Tom spotted this mother and doe on the grounds of the Hillside Chapel.

This is the only sign you see when you enter the driveway off Martin Luther Kind Avenue W.


  1. I remember going to the Ruth Lyon's show when I was a child. Exciting stuff for a kid.

  2. I'll bet. I'd love to say I saw her in person but I can't. In addition to my paternal grandparents attending a show, Mom was there at some point, too. Of course when I was home from school sick, I got to see the program. I always loved Ruth's poise and that bouquet of flowers attached to her microphone.