United States

Charles Van Doren, disgraced game-show contestant, dead at 93

Charles Van Doren, the disgraced game show contestant who admitted cheating on the 1950s show “Twenty-One,” has died. He was 93. Van Doren died of natural causes Tuesday at a senior care center in Canaan, Connecticut, said his son John Van Doren. The telegenic whiz won a then-record $129,000 on the popular NBC game show in late 1956 and early 1957 back in a time when such shows ruled the airwaves. But his golden boy reputation was tarnished after he admitted in testimony before Congress that his victory was actually rigged — he’d been given the answers in advance. Van Doren eventually pleaded guilty to perjury charges for lying to a Manhattan federal jury that investigated the scandal. His story was the subject of the 1994 m ...