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Comedian and late-night talk show host David Letterman is known for his irreverent sense of humor and cynical, mocking style.
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He also founded his own production company, Worldwide Pants, that same year, which bought a stake in his new show.
His displeasure with NBC executives was fodder for his monologues, and when they blocked him from transferring regular features of his show to CBS (claiming it was NBC's "intellectual property") that, too,
was mocked on air. The years that followed this head-to-head competition spawned a book and cable movie documenting the late-night talk show "wars." Letterman has received several Emmys for both writing and for his talk show hosting duties.
On January 14, 2000, fans were shocked to learn that Letterman underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery. In typical Letterman fashion, the recovering patient joked that "in addition to rerouting the arteries, they also installed an E-Z pass." Letterman's first post-op show aired on February 21, featuring Regis Philbin, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams (wearing medical scrubs), and eight members of the team who took care of Letterman during his stay in the hospital.
In December 2006, Letterman renewed his contract with CBS, agreeing to host The Late Show with David Letterman through the fall of 2010. In 2007, he was ranked as No. 17 on the Forbes list of richest men in the entertainment industry, making an estimated $40 million that year. In 2009, Forbes also listed Letterman as No. 14 on their list of most powerful personalities in entertainment. The magazine cited Letterman's Peabody Award-winning company, Worldwide Pants, as one of the secrets behind his current wealth and power; in addition to Letterman's show, the company has produced successful comedies such as Everybody Loves Raymond and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Letterman is known for successfully keeping his romantic and private life under tight wraps from the media. He was married to Michele Cook from 1969-1977. He has also been romantically linked to comedienne/writer Merrill Markoe. He then began a relationship with production manager Regina Lasko in the mid 80s. Letterman and Lasko celebrated the birth of their son in 2004, who they named after Letterman's father, Harry Joseph Letterman.
Letterman and Lasko wed during a private courthouse ceremony in Choteau, Montana, on March 19, 2009. The talk show host announced his nuptials during his March 23rd show. The family now resides in North Salem, New York, on a 108-acre estate.
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