David Letterman — PICS By: Kathryn Owen December 6, 2021 9:12AM EST 1 of 7 David Letterman — Pics Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutte He’s one of the biggest icons in late-night history: David Letterman! Indianapolis, Indiana’s favorite son began his career as a radio talk show host before transitioning to a career as a weatherman. Encouraged by his then-wife, David headed west to Los Angeles with hopes of becoming a comedy writer. While performing a stand-up act at The Comedy Store in the 1970s, he was noticed by Jimmie Walker, who hired him to write jokes for Walker’s stand-up act. As his career picked up — with appearances on Mary Tyler Moore’s variety show, ‘Mary,’ and on ‘Mork & Mindy,’ just to name a few – he drew the attention of scouts for ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.’ David would be a regular on the program, becoming a favorite of Carson (who Letterman credits as being the biggest influence on his career.) David was given a morning show on NBC, ‘The David Letterman Show,’ in 1980. Though it was a critical success, winning two Emmy Awards, it failed to gain an audience. NBC slated him in a different time slot, and ‘Late night with David Letterman’ debuted on NBC on Feb. 1, 1982. The rest was history. When the ‘Tonight Show’ hosting gig went to Jay Leno in 1992, following Carson’s retirement, Letterman jumped ship to CBS. He hosted ‘Late Night’ until his retirement in 2015. He would return to the talk-show world in 2018 with the Netflix show ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.’ April 2, 2020, 10:34AM 2 of 7 David Letterman At The Kennedy Center Honors Shutterstock David Letterman kicked off the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2021. During his introduction, he made a quip, celebrating that President Joe Biden attended the ceremony after former President Donald Trump skipped it for his entire presidency. December 6, 2021, 9:07AM 3 of 7 David Letterman Hosts In 2020 Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock David Letterman attends the 2020 God’s Love We Deliver ‘Love Rocks NYC,’ benefit concert at The Beacon Theater in New York. The show benefitted the beloved New York based charity, God’s Love We Deliver. April 2, 2020, 10:34AM 4 of 7 David Letterman On His Way To ‘The View’ Kristin Callahan/ACE Pictures/Sh David Letterman grew his now-trademark beard the moment he retired. Here, he casually makes his way to a taping of ‘The View’ in 2019. April 2, 2020, 10:34AM 5 of 7 Indiana’s Son Speaks AP/Shutterstock David Letterman speaks during the unveiling of a Peyton Manning statue outside of Lucas Oil Stadium, in Indianapolis Colts Manning Statue Football, Indianapolis, USA – 07 Oct 2017 April 2, 2020, 10:34AM 6 of 7 Dave Is Cool Cj Gunther/EPA/Shutterstock Former television talk show host David Letterman talks with media outside the John F Kennedy Presidential Library prior to the Profile in Courage Award presentation inn Boston Massachusetts, USA 07 May 2017. This year’s recipient is former United States President Barack Obama. Former US President Obama 2017 JFK Profile in Courage Award, Boston, USA – 07 May 2017 April 2, 2020, 10:34AM 7 of 7 David Is A Winner Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutte David Letterman poses in the press room at the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony. He will forever be considered an icon of television. April 2, 2020, 10:34AM Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.