An easy-going, warm if placid TV announcer and personality, Hugh Downs was certified by "The Guinness Book of Records" in 1985 as having hosted more hours on TV than anyone else in the history of the medium and that record has continued to grow into the 90s. <p> Downs has never been considered a newsman, yet he has hosted two news programs NBC's "Today" and ABC's "20/20". He has never been considered an entertainer, yet he was the announcer for Sid Caesar's variety series "Caesar's Hour" (NBC, 1956-57) and for Jack Paar during Paar's reign as host of "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1957-62). Downs was not a career game show host, yet he was emcee for NBC's "Concentration" for 11 years from 1958-69. If he had any genre to call his own, it could well be informational programming for senior citizens, as Downs has a post-graduate degree in gerontology and hosted the PBS series "Over Easy" (1977-81) as well as the ABC special "Growing Old in America" (1985). Safe to say, there is no one who finds Hugh Downs offensive on the airwaves.<p> Neither exuding loads of personality, nor bland, Downs began in broadcasting in 1939 in Lima, OH, as a radio announcer, then moved to Detroit, MI, just prior to World War II with the same duties. NBC moved him to Chicago in 1943, where he stayed for several years as the staff announcer for radio and TV. In the late 40s, Downs served as the announcer for the famed "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" puppet show. After a stint as host of "Home" in Chicago in the early 50s, he moved to NYC where he continued as an announcer for NBC variety series. During the same period, Downs began hosting "Concentration", a popular and long-running game show, and, from 1957, appeared on its morning broadcast "Today". He took over the role of host of "Today" in 1962, and remained with the show for 10 years.<p> In 1972, Downs semi-retired to Arizona, handling numerous hosting duties on documentaries as well as "Over Easy" for PBS. After six years, he returned to weekly TV as the host of the ABC newsmagazine "20/20". In the 80s, he was joined by Barbara Walters as co-host, reuniting the duo from "Today". Downs has continued to be adventuresome, as in a "20/20" segment in which he dove into a cage with a great white shark in Australia. He has also devoted himself to programs with great human benefit. Downs anchored a 1990 ABC News special entitled "Depression: Beyond the Darkness" and has often participated in programs which discuss and investigate how our future will be affected by the mishandling of the environment. Additionally, he has hosted the PBS series "Live From Lincoln Center" since 1990. A veteran or more than 50 years in broadcasting, Downs has received numerous lifetime achievement awards and honorary degrees.