Griffin, the brains behind game shows like Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, spent over 60 years at the forefront of television in America, joking his motto was, "If it's not broke, fix it anyway. Keep changing."
The TV mogul started out as one of the first U.S. talk show hosts, fronting The Merv Griffin Show for 21 years--from 1965 to 1986--and interviewing then unknowns like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks.
On his Web site, Griffin boasted he had hosted 5,500 shows and interviewed more than 25,000 guests.
He also enjoyed pop-chart success as a bandleader--his novelty song "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" took Griffin and partner Freddy Martin to the top of the charts in 1950.
After conquering the television landscape, Griffin became a successful hotelier, developing luxury hotels throughout America, including the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
Griffin died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Sunday morning. He is survived by a son, Tony Griffin, a daughter-in-law, Tricia, and two grandchildren, Farah and Donovan Mervyn.
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