George Abraham, 89; Teamed With Wife on Gardening Radio Show
George “Doc” Abraham, 89, a wisecracking gardening guru who teamed up with his wife, Katy, on one of the longest-running shows on American radio, died Thursday at a hospital in Canandaigua, N.Y. The cause of death was not announced.
The couple wrapped up the last edition of “The Green Thumb” on Dec. 14, 2002, with their trademark sign-off: “Gotta grow now!” Abraham said. “And don’t forget to be neighborly,” his wife piped in. The half-hour call-in show went on the air in 1952, offering advice on flowers, fruit bugs and lawn care. The couple’s country-twang chemistry drew a loyal following on Rochester’s WHAM-AM.
Born in rural western New York, the teenage sweethearts both studied horticulture and journalism at Cornell University. During World War II, he saw action in North Africa while she worked at a munitions plant in Ithaca. They married during his 36-hour Army leave in 1942.
After the war, they launched a greenhouse business and a syndicated gardening column that during its heyday reached 5 million readers in 130 newspapers around the country.