Congratulations, Art and Lois Linkletter. My utmost admiration and respect for both of you is something that I cannot begin to even put into words. Not just for your honoring of vows and each other, but for the many things you have done during your lives. Watching "Kids Say the Darnedest Things" as a child is one of my many fond memories. Hearing your thoughts on AARP and your solution to them also has been inspirational, and I like your little known
United Seniors Association.
God bless you both! Well done, good and faithful servants. My prayer for you both is my favorite verses from the Bible... Numbers 6:24-26.
70 Years of Marriage - Art and Lois Linkletter
Art and Lois Linkletter will receive the Friends of the Family Award from the Center for the Family on November 9, 2005 at the Center’s fundraising gala, Savvy Chic. This award is in honor of the Linkletters’ 70 th wedding anniversary and in recognition of their courage to defend traditional family values in a society that constantly threatens to devalue them.
Art and Lois Linkletter:
A Few Words on Family From a Perspective of 70 Years
Art and Lois Linkletter could certainly be viewed as resident experts on the topic of marriage and family. They’ve earned it over almost seven decades as husband and wife, father and mother. This November, they’ll celebrate their 70 th wedding anniversary. And how appropriate that the Linkletters are Advisory Board members of Pepperdine’s Center for the Family, a Christian institute that exists to strengthen families.
Sharing the podium at the Center’s bi-annual board meeting, Art and Lois shared memories and observations of today’s family that elicited mostly laughter
(Art is a master entertainer with a comedian’s talent for timing), and some somber moments.
"I speak about 70 times a year all around the country. . .so I’m introduced a lot," began Art, who is also a Pepperdine University Board of Regents member. "But no matter who the audience is, when I tell them I’ve been married 70 years, they all applaud and stand up! People want to hear that marriages can last."
They met when Lois was a high school senior and Art was a college junior and he couldn’t resist the fact that "she could reverse pivot!" They dated for a couple of years before he proposed, married on November 25, 1935, and they continue to make their own family history together.
Using their own experience to perhaps give other parents direction, Art explained that theirs was a close-knit family when their five children were young. "Lois made our family her career," Art stated to the roomful of guests, letting these simple words carry a weight of wisdom. They spent time together daily at the dinner table. The children looked to Art and Lois for their entertainment. They took many trips together all over the world, and each child grew up actively participating in such traditions as decorating their Holmby Hills home "from top to bottom" for the holidays, providing a showcase for neighbors and friends to enjoy with them.
At Christmas, each child got to pick out their own Christmas tree and decorate it any way they wanted. Art added, "We had an award for the most beautiful, and the most original, and the most creative, and the most attractive, and the most colorful. Five awards. We had five children!"
This couple agrees that a strong marriage is the best example for today’s children, who are bombarded by very bad examples in today’s society, Art said, as he listed several troubling trends. He holds a unique perspective, beyond being a dad. For over 60 years, the Emmy Award winner has performed in such popular television and radio shows as Kids Say The Darndest Things. Pulling just one example from more than 27,000 televised interviews with 4- to 10-year olds, Art illustrated his point:
"I asked a six-year-old boy, ‘If you were going to go to heaven, what would you take along with you?’ And he said, ‘My mother and father.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because I think they’d have more time for me up there." Pausing for the Pepperdine audience to absorb the boy’s answer, the grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of 14 added, "This Center for the Family,...…at this Christian University is exactly what we need."
About Art Linkletter
A true master of the podium, Linkletter has performed in such popular television and radio shows as House Party, People Are Funny, and Kids Say the Darndest Things. The latter was based on his best-selling book of the same title. Linkletter has won one Grammy award and two Emmy awards, plus four Emmy nominations. Among numerous additional honors and recognitions, Linkletter takes particular pride in one: "Grandfather of the Year."
Among twenty-three books he’s written, Linkletter’s latest is the best-seller Old Age is Not for Sissies. Equally well-known as a businessman, Linkletter is chairman of the board of Linkletter Enterprises. He has served on the President’s National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse Prevention, the Presidential Commission to Improve Reading in the United States, the President’s Commission on Fitness and Physical Education and in other volunteer roles.
The Center for the Family gratefully acknowledges Lyn Klodt,
Associate Director of Creative Services at Pepperdine University,
for her work on this article.