Richard Wolcott Carson

Richard Wolcott Carson

An untimely Death

The article deals with life and the unexpected and young age death of Richard Wolcott Carson, the son of the famous TV host, Johnny Carson

The legendary Television host of the world-famous “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” Johnny Carson, Richard Wolcott Carson often called Rick was his second son. Richard Wolcott is popularly known for two reasons, firstly because of his affiliation with Johnny Carson. The second reason for his popularity is his unfortunate and heart-rending demise due to a car accident while taking scenic photographs of the valley’s view.  

History of Richard Wolcott Carson

He was born in 1952, June 18 and he was the middle child of Rick and Joddy Wolcott. His elder brother is Christopher and his younger brother’s name is  Cory. Just like his father, he was a talented kid who had a passion for photography. Reportedly, his passion for photography became one of the prime reasons for his early and accidental death. He was visiting Cayucos, California, to complete his photography project when the accident took place. According to the reports, on June 21, 1991, at the young age of thirty-nine, he lost his life as his car plunged more than 100 feet down the cliff in the act of taking a photograph of the view.  According to the news reporter, his four-wheeler was thrown off the cliff and he died instantly bearing multiple injuries. Apparently, he was driving a narrow service road on Cayucos Criveand and was too engrossed in taking the photograph that plummeted down the foot-hill. Cayucos is 180 miles off the LA.

His final rights were held on Sunday in Los Angeles where his father lived but Johnny Carson didn’t give a word of mouth regarding the tragedy until Monday. Tragically Johnny Carson was planning to visit Wimbledon to join the tennis championship in England when the news of his son’s death struck him like a blow on his face.  

The digitalized version of the news article reporting the death of Richard Wolcott Carson has been preserved to date in the archives.

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The Impact on Johnny Carson:

Needless to say, the sudden death of Richard Wolcott Carson deeply shook Johnny Carson, who has been known for his stoic resignation and composed demeanor in the face of irreparable tragedy. The day following his accidental death, Johnny Carson read his eulogy on the popular show “The Tonight Show”  and shared his son’s photographs with the viewers and the audience. It was heart-rending to see his personal sorrow offer a rare glimpse into his grief and loss. His intention in showing his son’s personal pictures was to emphasize the fact that no one likes to be remembered by the picture on the license. He was basically referring to his picture in the newspaper which was taken from his son’s licence.

The untimely death of Richard Wolcott Carson left an indelible mark on the life of Johnny Carson, his deep love and affection for his son can never be questioned. His death remains a terrible tragedy raising goosebumps for the majority of us.