Gerard Darrow: From Quiz Kid to Broken Man
A sweet-faced, intelligent 9 year-old boy–Gerard Darrow–who performed on a radio show called Quiz Kids. LIFE says that Darrow “rescued this fledgling martin during a field trip at the Darrows’ summer cottage at Petite Lake, Ill.”
Though Gerard was well-groomed and combed in the radio studio, he most loved being outdoors, where he could observe birds. By age 4, Gerard already knew the names of 365 birds.
John Dunning, in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, says:
Especially troubling were the views of Gerard Darrow, who had been profiled under the alias “Bruce Fletcher” by Studs Terkel for the book Working. Terkel described an aging man with a string of menial jobs and long periods of unemployment. “I wish it had never happened,” Darrow told Terkel of his days as a Quiz Kid. “I can’t forgive those who exploited me.”
Later in the book:
Gerard Darrow had died at 47, “a man in broken health who had spent a good portion of his final years on welfare.”
From On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, by John Dunning