Announcers: The Pitchman

By the time he was 18, Edward Leo McMahon Jr. had been a pitchman for eight years. He was the genuine article, too, peddling merchandise on the sidewalks: "Folks, I'm gonna show you the Morris Metric Slicer. Two dollars is the price on the box, but forget the two dollars. I'm talking about one dollar, and I'm throwing in the onion slicer and the juice extractor." When Ed talked, the folks listened. And when they listened, they usually bought.

Today, at 45, McMahon is still pitching, and the folks are still buying. After...

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