Philadelphia children's TV show host Gene London dead at 88

David Madden
January 21, 2020 - 8:20 pm
Gene London.

Courtesy of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Born Eugene Yulish in Cleveland, Gene London performed on several New York TV programs before coming to WCAU (Channel 10), where he told stories, drew pictures and more on Cartoon Corners and the Gene London show which aired from 1959 through 1977.

He was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame 32 years later, where he told several hundred attendees, “I don’t know what happened when I left my show. I thought I would never leave the station. I thought I would wind up on the news. I thought I would be there as long as John Facenda was.”

Facenda, of course, made his name at the station as an evening news anchorman and later as the voice of NFL Films.

London later amassed a vast collection of couture and film costumes that were taken on worldwide tours. His niece, Sherie Yulish Brenner, recalled how Gene loved interacting with people.

“He would have lines of a hundred people waiting to speak with him to ask him questions or share stories about seeing him on TV and what kind of impact he had made on them,” she told KYW Newsradio.

London and his longtime partner, John Thomas, married in 2016 and split their time between homes in Reading, Pennsylvania and Florida. He died Sunday after taking a fall in their Reading home.

London’s last clothing show concluded last month in Allentown, but Thomas says the tour will continue with bookings scheduled through next year.

Funeral services in Cleveland will be private and he will be laid to rest beside his parents. Plans are in the works for a public memorial in Philadelphia, which has not yet been scheduled.

Gene London was 88.