"God bless all the children of the world"" - The
final words of game show host Richard Dawson as
he ended an nine year run on the popular game
show FAMILY FEUD/SYN/1976-85.
The show's announcer 'opened each show saying"
On your marks! Let's start "THE FAMILY FEUD!"
With the star of "Family Feud", RICHARD DAWSON!"
The entire closing statement from his July 12,
1985 departure follows:
"The Mackans were our final winning family, and
they won $5,504 and I'm proud of 'em.
I've had the most incredible luck in my career.
I've done lots and lots of jobs, and I've never,
ever had a job like "Family Feud".
've never dreamed I would ever have a job where
so many people could touch me and I could touch
them. And it was a great magic about this show
that I've never seen on any other show.
I want to publicly acknowledge Howard Felsher,
who is our Executive Producer. He was a producer
in the beginning of this show, and he helped
steer and guide the way that we went.
And he and I fall a lot of times, but I tell you
that he's important and I should acknowledge
him, because he's the one, with me, that, we
said, "Let anybody come on this show, anyone
that can play this game, no matter what color or
creed, no matter if they're in a wheelchair or
they have no sight."
And we've had anybody on this show, and he was
very, very important in that and I acknowledge
and thank him for it.
I thank my crew, and I thanked my director
already. I had the best staff you've ever
dreamed of. You can't...and you don't have to
dream of them, 'cause I'm gonna take them with
Even if I never work again, they'll just be near
me. They are so special and wonderful. ABC,
Jackie Smith, Polly Welkman, Joe C. Alba; they
kept us on the air probably a year more than
they should have, 'cause we weren't really
You know, our ratings weren't that good, and
they were so great. They married themselves
carrying us, and I love them for that, not that
I wanted to hurt 'em, 'cause I love 'em.
They were good people. There were people I know
that got upset that I kiss people; I kiss them
for luck and love, that's all. That's what my
mother did to me.
There were people upset that I would embrace or
have someone of a different color.
The first time I ever saw people of any color
was when D-Day left from my hometown in England,
to go and free Europe in the war. And there was
every color you could imagine, and I'd not seen
that in England. And I'd asked my mother about
it; I said, "Is there something wrong?" She
said, "God...God makes people. You understand
that, don't you?" And I said, "Yeah!" She said,
"Who makes a rainbow?" I said, "God." She said,
"I never presumed to tell anyone who could make
a rainbow what color to make children." And she
changed my whole life with that statement.
All I can tell you is, this has been the very
special 9 years of my life! If I never do
another thing, I've met the good, sweet people
of the world.
So I leave you, with love, and for the little
girl that, 9 years ago, I first signed to - I
guess she's 13, now - I'll think of you every
day. God bless all the little children in the
world. Thank you."
In 1994, the syndicated version of FAMILY FEUD
brought back Richard Dawson to replace Ray Combs
as host for the show. On June 2, 1996 Ray Combs
committed suicide - he hanged himself in the
closet of his hospital room during a
72-hour mental observation in the psychiatric ward of Glendale Adventist Medical Center.