Genealogy info: Arthur (1), Chad (2),
Thomas (3), Elhanan (4), Hiram (5), Ezra Morgan ( & Malinda Hall) (6),
Barton Oville (7).
(1886 - 1952) Merlin
Hall Aylesworth was the founding President of the National
Broadcasting Company (NBC). Merlin was a true pioneer, because
at that time (1926), the concept of network broadcasting was just an
idea. Merlin created a system which eventually brought into being
competitors such CBS and ABC. By being the first to develop the concept, it fell upon
him to establish the fundamental policies that still are the backbone of
Biographical sketch, by
Owen R. Aylesworth
The son of Barton Orville Aylesworth and Georgia L. Shores. Merlin was
born July 19, 1886 in Cedar Rapids, IA and came west with his parents to
Colorado, first settling in Denver in 1896 and then to Fort Collins in
1898. Nicknamed "Deac" after his grandfather, Merlin attended the local
schools and complete his early education at Colorado Agriculture
College. He attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of
Colorado and graduated in 1908 from the University of Denver with a LL.
B degree. Later in 1932 he received his LL. D from Columbia University
Upon graduation in 1908 he opened a Law Office in Fort Collins
attorney for the Commerce Bank & Trust as well as the Northern Colorado
Marriage was next in his life and on Oct. 20, 1909 he took for his
wife Blanche Minnie Parrett, born Jul. 28, 1886, Byers, Arapahoe Co.,
CO, died May 1959, the daughter of Chauncey Jerome Parrett (b. Jan.
1849, d. Jun. 1910) and Maud Heath Gildersleeve (b. Apr. 19, 1866)(their
marriage being Sep. 5, 1883 in Denver, CO) This marriage bringing two children: Barton Jerome and Dorothy.
Merlin was elected Chairman of the Larimer Co. Republican Central
Committee in 1910 and Appointed Attorney of Larimer Co. in 1911 at the
age of 25. His career now taking off he became Chairman of the Colorado
Public Utilities Commission in 1914 and Vice-President in 1918 of the
Utah Power & Light Co. 1919 he was appointed Manager of the National
Electric Light Association.
At the urging in 1926 of Owen D. Young of General Electric Co.,
David Sarnoff, Gen. J. C. Harbord of RCA and Guy E. Tripp of
Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. he accepted the position of
the first President of the new National Broadcasting Co. now known as
NBC. Always looking for new fields, in 1932 (to 1938) he became
President and Chairman of Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation now know as
RKO. During this period in 1934-35 he also served as Chairman of the
Board of the Radio City Music Hall and in 1937, Publisher of Scripps
Howard Newspapers. On March 31, 1938 until Dec. 19, 1939 we find him
Publisher of the New York World Telegram.
Returning to the practice of law in 1939 he was admitted to the Bar
of New York by then Supreme Court Justice Francis Martin with the aim to
practice Corporate Law and specializing in litigation of labor and
taxation disputes. Chosen as Executive Consultant to the Office of
Inter-American Affairs in 1940 was his last task in life.
In 1945, his first marriage having ended in divorce, he married
Caroline Andrus (Andrews) McEnteer. He passed away on Sep. 30, 1952
having filled a life of 66 years.
The last honor bestowed on him came in 1960 when he was elected
into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.
Ref: Time Magazine Jan. 6, 1936, Apr. 11, 1938, Jan. 1, 1940; History
of Larimer County, CO; American Advertising Federation, Advertising Hall