Herbert Stempel, the whistleblower who exposed corruption in 1950s game shows, has passed at the age of 93. Stempel’s former wife, Ethel, informed The Associated Press on Sunday that he died in a New York nursing home on April 7.
Stempel, who at one point had a six-week winning streak on the show “Twenty-One,” was instructed by the producers to lose to Columbia professor Charles Van Doren. Stempel was promised a job on the show if he followed through, but never received it.
Years later, Stempel’s testimony to Congress would lead to the banning of rigged game shows, including the cancellation of “Twenty-One,” among others.
In 1994, Stempel was portrayed by John Turturro in a movie called “Quiz Show,” directed by Robert Redford.