Betty White’s beloved husband, Allen Ludden, had Corpus Christi roots

Corpus Christi has turned out its share of celebrities, but one personality who doesn’t get mentioned often is actor and game show royalty Allen Ludden. The younger audiences, however, will recognize the name as Betty White’s beloved husband.

Though born in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, Ludden spent his adolescence in Corpus Christi. He moved to the city with his parents, Homer and Leila Ludden, and brother, Frank, in the early 1930s when he was 14 years old. He got his first tastes of theater when he performed in the senior play at Corpus Christi High School, where he also served as the business manager of the student newspaper, La Gaviota. He graduated from CCHS (now Miller High School) in 1934 and worked in sales briefly at the Jack Bonner Co. and both Lichtenstein’s and Perkins department stores before heading off to college.

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Ludden attended Sul Ross Teachers College before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin and earning a bachelor’s and then master’s degree in English. He worked as both a high school and college English instructor before briefly returning to Corpus Christi, working at radio station KEYS before enlisting in the Army in 1942. In October 1943, Ludden married Margaret McGloin, a native of Corpus Christi. (Her father, Gilbert McGloin, was the postmaster and killed by his assistant in a murder-suicide inside the federal building in 1939. Ameta McGloin, Gilbert’s wife and Margaret’s mother, was appointed the postmaster and served until her retirement in 1963.)

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