WASHINGTON - For 50 years, Mac McGarry was a Saturday morning fixture as host of ''It's Academic."
He lost his battle with pneumonia Thursday at his Potomac, Md., home. McGarry was 87 years old.
To his family though, McGarry was more than a quiz show host. He was a beloved father.
"For anybody who sees him on television, he was even better at home. Anybody would be proud to be his child," says Mark McGarry, one of Mac McGarry's four children.
A lifelong New York Yankees fan, Mark McGarry says his father also was a lover of music and enjoyed many genres.
"He was a big Tommy Dorsey fan...we still have his records here as a matter of fact and we still have his original record player," he says.
Even at home, Mac McGarry never lost his sternness for correct grammar.
"Even up to about two days ago he made sure to correct my wife and I," Mark McGarry says. "I said I'm going to go lie down. He said you're going to go lay down, or vise versa. Chickens lay, people lie, that's what he would tell me."
Mark says Mac talked about about retirement after year 49, but later decided to return for his 50th year as host, which would prove to be his last on the quiz show.
A "Mac McGarry Scholarship" has been created in honor of the longtime show host. Mark McGarry says donations can be sent to:
Mac McGarry Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 61152
Potomac, MD 20859
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