Who was Merv Griffin? Surely the affable Hollywood tycoon would have considered this too easy for Jeopardy!, a show he created along with Wheel of Fortune, which he proudly called "America's games," USA Today reports.


Griffin, 82, who died Sunday in Los Angeles of prostate cancer, ruled the game-show genre with two of its longest-running and highest-rated programs, which are broadcast worldwide in countries such as Argentina, France and Singapore.


Griffin began as a radio show and big-band singer and a bit player in film and on stage. In 1950, he crooned the Top 10 novelty song I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts. He went on to become a multimillionaire owner of hotels, casinos, champion racehorses and Emmy-winning television shows.


"Although this is not necessarily a music related post depending on your viewpoint, I felt it was..."


Many will remember the always well-dressed, perpetually tan California native as the host of daytime's The Merv Griffin Show, a talk show that started in 1962 and ran until 1986, featuring guests ranging from philosophers to movie stars. But it was Griffin's genius as a game-show creator that has had a lasting influence on American television audiences.


He created Jeopardy! in 1964 and Wheel of Fortune in 1975. Wheel, he said, was based on the Hangman games he played with his sister during family road trips. And he credited his ex-wife, Julann, with suggesting the concept behind Jeopardy!, contestants providing questions to supplied answers.


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