Story Time

In 1965, Paul Harvey’s Warning Was Broadcast — It’s Sadly Come True

In 1965, an unforgettable warning was broadcast for all to hear. Over half a century later, it’s sadly come true, and it’s chilling to hear. Paul Harvey, a conservative American news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose staccato style made him one of America’s most familiar voices, reached tens of millions of listeners at the peak of his career. His “idiosyncratic delivery of news stories with dramatic pauses, quirky intonations, and many of his standard lead-ins and sign-offs” made him extremely recognizable on the radio.

Although he was very accurate in his reporting, no one could imagine that his famous words from decades ago would be prophetic, describing the reality of today. Indeed, over half a century ago, the legendary ABC Radio commentator, who was born Paul Harvey Aurandt in 1918, seeming predicted how the United States is right now during a broadcast that aired in 1965.

Once most of us hear the famous line that’s also the title of the speech and is repeated throughout the essay, we recognize the broadcast almost immediately. “If I were the Devil,” Paul Harvey famously said in 1965 before discussing issues we are faced with today. However, although Harvey’s words have an undeniable truth, they may not be as prophetic as some might believe.

Yes, Paul Harvey originally wrote his famous “If I Were The Devil” essay in 1964. The broadcast of the essay aired in 1965, and it is still popular today. But, the current rendition that often circulates the internet was updated by Harvey to reflect current events throughout his life, which sadly ended in 2009. The oldest genuine Paul Harvey version of this piece we’ve found thus far appeared in his newspaper column in 1964: