Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 307-309. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Developed a fondness for drinking and gambling during his years on the Las Vegas circuit. He credited his family for helping him curb his problems.
Dropping out of high school, he was schooled instead in rimshot comedy by Milton Berle in the Catskills.
In January 1961, he was the emcee for a portion of President John F. Kennedy's inaugural party.
Played drums and formed a group called Earl Knight and His Musical Knights while a teenager.
Produced the Broadway plays "The Lion in Winter" and the revival of "Dinner at Eight".
Three children: Robert, Andrew and Elaine Ray.
Thrived on social humor and life's annoyances. Jerry Stiller once called him "the Jewish Will Rogers".
Was the Abbot of the New York Friars Club and attended all celebrity roasts until shortly before his death.