Officer Joe’ Bolton: a friend to kids and Stooges 1

The home of “Officer Joe” Bolton 82-15 35 Ave. in Jackson Heights in the 1940s when he lived there.

Joseph Reeves Bolton III was born in Flushing on Sept. 8, 1910 to Joseph Bolton II and Florence Youngling Bolton. They moved to Ft. Washington Avenue in Manhattan. The elder Bolton was an advertising manager for Royal Typewriters and later in life the manager of the Empire State Building Observation Deck.

Young Joseph left at age 17 and moved to Newark to become a announcer for WOR Radio. He married Dorothy Bondy Harrington in 1935. His only son, Joseph Reeves Bolton IV, was born in 1937.

His career was on the upswing, as he was hired by CBS in NYC. However the marriage was not a happy one and Dorothy obtained a Dade Co., Fla., divorce in 1941. Bolton moved in with his now-divorced mother at 82-15 35 Ave. in Jackson Heights and split his living space between her home and the Belmont Plaza Hotel in NYC.

In May 1948 he started a job with Channel 11 WPIX, a new network, as an announcer and weatherman. In 1955 he was asked to host a children’s show called “The Clubhouse Gang” showing re-runs of “The Little Rascals” dressed as a clown. He agreed to do it only dressed as a police officer because it would be more respectful and a credible example for kids.

He then became “Officer Joe” Bolton. In 1958 he switched to “The Three Stooges” re-runs. His show went off the air in May 1970, but is still beloved by millions of baby boomers.

He remarried and had a daughter, Catherine. He passed away in 1986 in Santa Monica, Calif. at age 75.

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