Michener Art Museum

Nelson Case

Photo by Vandamm, courtesy Nondas Metcalfe Case
BORN: February 3, 1910, Long Beach, California
DIED: March 23, 1976, Center Bridge, Pennsylvania

"Ivory soap...
ninety-nine and forty-four one-hundredths percent pure. It floats."
-Nelson Case

During the Golden Age of Radio, the announcer was often as famous as the star of the program; he introduced the program, read the commercials, and was often responsible for warming up the audience for the precisely timed opening laugh. Announcer Nelson Case was known to millions of Americans as "Mr. Radio." Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, his deep voice was heard on a great variety of broadcast programs ranging from crime dramas and soap operas to musical variety and quiz shows. For 19 years he hosted Ivory Soap sponsored radio programs and worked with stars such as Lowell Thomas and Ed Sullivan. His television credits included "The Armstrong Circle Theater," "Wide, Wide World," and "Masquerade Party." In addition, Case served as the announcer for the Miss America Pageant and for NCAA football games. He also worked with Sigmund Rothschild on television's first art appraisal program. He served as the New York president, and national vice-president of the American Federation of Radio Artists. With a voice that was compared to Ezio Pinza's, he was also a born singer and pianist.