Mr. Rias


The RIAS Berlin Commission mourns the passing of longtime chairperson and founding member Jürgen Graf. Mr. Graf, who had come to be known as ‘Mr. RIAS’ for his years as the principal correspondent for the network, died suddenly on October 20, 2007 in Berlin following heart surgery. With his dedication to the promotion of transatlantic friendship and with his energy, friendliness and optimism, Jürgen Graf will remain an inspirational source for years to come, and his presence will very much be missed.


Mr. Rias meets the world’s celebrities

Short Biography

  • 12/29/1927 born in Berlin, Germany

High school: Heinrich von Kleist Gymnasium Berlin

  • 1937–1939 Internates Davos und Arosa
  • 1940–1943 Schondorf am Ammersee; aid to the German Luftwaffe, war-time high school graduation
  • Mai–Juli 1945 Reporter for the Sovjet Berlin Radio
  • August 1945 Working with the US Information Control Division to set up the RIAS radio station. Ever since (37 years) employed by RIAS Berlin
  • 1949–1951 4 semesters publicistic and Germanic studies at the Freie Universität Berlin
  • Since 1955 As a permanent freelancer approx. 600 own TV-shows at ARD, a.o. from 1958 to 1979 the quiz show “Die sechs Siebeng’scheiten” with 260 (!) sequels, which then was a European record.
  • 1961 Publishing of the book: “Berlin,” Andermann-Verlag, München

since 01.05.1982 Retirement

Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz
Großes Ehrenzeichen of the Austrian Republic
US-Meritorious Honor Award
Carl-Schurz-Medal for German-American activities
German Philology TV Award
Honor Citizen of the City of Rheinsberg

Since his retirement member of the RIAS BERLIN COMMISSION;

Involved in German-American organizations for more than 30 years:
Checkpoint Charlie-Foundation;
Initiative Berlin — USA;
City Partnership Berlin — Los Angeles
Atlantic Bridge
American Academy in Berlin.

10/20/2007: Died in a hospital after severe heart surgery.