The Life Of ‘Family Feud’ Star Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson is best known for hosting the popular game show Family Feud from 1976 until 1985 as well as for another season between 1994 and 1995. The British-born actor also starred on the sitcom Hogan’s Heroes before launching his career as a game show staple.

While today his open fondness for female contestants would be frowned upon, in his time Dawson’s actions were largely accepted by many fans, TV viewers, and the contestants themselves. Here are some interesting facts about Dawson’s life and career that you may not know…

He Ran Away From Home As A Teen & Aspired To Be A Professional Boxer

dawson in his younger days
Archive Photos/Getty Images
Archive Photos/Getty Images

Richard Dawson was born Colin Lionel Emm on Nov. 20, 1932, in Gosport, Hampshire, England. During World War II, his family was evacuated from their hometown to escape bombing. Due to the war, his attendance at school was sporadic, so he didn’t receive a complete education.

When he was just 14 years old, he ran away from home and joined the British Merchant Navy. While serving in the Navy he expressed interest in a boxing career. After he was discharged, he took the stage name Dickie Dawson and began a comedy career.