I was reading about Bill Cullen, who was a radio and television game show host from the late 1940s until the 1980s. I always liked him, for he was boyish and impish -- and besides, he reminded me of a boy I was "flipped out" over.
Anyway, I picked up on some curious coincidences between him and Jack:
* He was born in 1920.
* His father's given name was William Lawrence.
* His father sold Fords.
* The love of his life was not his first wife.
* His wife, while not a fashion designer, was a fashion model.
* CBS played a very important role in his career.
No, Bill wasn't in the merchant marine, but he was a pilot with the Civil Air Patrol. Because he'd had a serious bout of polio as an infant, he was disqualified from flying in combat. Even so, he found a way to serve in the war effort -- by patrolling the East Coast by air.
He started out to be a doctor but had to drop out of medical school for financial reasons. Again, the Great Depression got in the way.
Here are links to an episode of an early game show that Bill Cullen hosted. It was called Professor Yes 'n' No and was produced by Screen Gems in 1953.