John William Carson (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005) was an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. He is best known as the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992). Carson received six Primetime Emmy Awards, the Television Academy's 1980 Governor's Award, and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993.During World War II, Carson served in the Navy. After the war, Carson started a career in radio. He moved from radio to TV and took over as host of the late-night talk show Tonight from Jack Paar in 1962. He remained an American icon even after his retirement in 1992. He adopted a casual, conversational approach with extensive interaction with guests, an approach pioneered by Arthur Godfrey and previous Tonight Show hosts Steve Allen and Jack Paar but enhanced by Carson's lightning-quick wit. Former late-night host and friend David Letterman, as well as many others, have cited Carson's influence. Carson is a cultural icon and widely regarded as the king of late-night television.