Mac McGarry: The Quintessential Quizmaster

Washington, D.C., has more than its share of inquisitors. But perhaps the most renowned questioner of all was Maurice James “Mac” McGarry, the founding host of It’s Academic who died on Dec. 12 at age 87 in Potomac, Md. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the televised test of wits for teenagers is the longest-running quiz show in the TV history. When It’s Academic premiered in October 1961, McGarry and the show’s creator, Washington lawyer-turned-TV producer Sophie Altman, had a noble …