Paul Henning was born on a farm in Missouri
, as the youngest of nine siblings
who'd come before him. The family quit the farm while Paul was a baby, and moved into the town of Independence
As a boy, Henning was a natural entertainer and entrepreneur, said to have sung for tips in his parent's grocery store. As a teenager, working behind the counter of the town's Brown's Drugstore, he met the future president of the USA, Harry Truman. Truman, a County official at the time, advised Henning to take a law degree, advice which Henning took, enrolling in the Kansas City School of Law night school program.
After a short while, Henning came to the realisation that what he really wanted to be was a singer, and so he quit law school and took a job at the radio station
KMBC in Kansas City. In Kansas City he developed a career as a singer (tenor), an actor, and a writer of radio soap operas).
In 1939, after some local success, Henning made the move to glittering Hollywood, where he signed on to the legendary William Morris Agency agent, George Grusin. His first Hollywood gig was as a writer for The Joe E. Brown Show.
Success did not come quickly, and The Great Depression was taking it's toll on the world's economies. Finally, in 1942, the legendary George Burns asked him onto his writers' staff. Burns and Henning formed a life-long friendship, and travelled, working, all over North America and The Continent.
Henning's first big hit was The Beverly Hillbillies, originally set by the show's creators in the Deep South, but moved to Beverly Hills at Henning's inspirational insistence.
A string of classic television situation comedies followed, first with Petticoat Junction, followed up with Green Acres.
Henning retired after the success of Green Acres.
Research sources include "Complete TV Lyrics" & "NBCi"