Ed Reimers is dead at age 96. Reimers was known to many as the voice and embodiment of Allstate Insurance. On television, the genial Reimers would hold out his hands and close the commercial with the words, "You're in good hands with Allstate."
Reimers was with WHO, Des Moines, for several years in the 1930s. The story, as told by former President and another WHO alum, Ronald Reagan, is that the station had been advertising for an announcer. Reagan was a day late to the station. He did not know of the advertisement. As Reagan walked out of the station, he remarked, "How does one get to be a sports announcer." Then station manager Peter MacArthur heard the comment, gave Reagan an audition, and that Saturday, he was in Iowa City to broadcast the Iowa-Minnesota football game. Reagan would close his story about his good fortune by noting that it was Ed Reimers who got the announcing job, and to get it, he had to pass a very difficult test about names and procedures.
It was Reimers who helped Reagan learn the radio business. Another Reagan story involving Reimers revolved around a station break. Reagan and Reimers were in the announcer's booth. Reimers gave a station break, "This is radio station WHO, Des Moines, Iowa." A short time later, the President of Central Broadcasting, COL B.J. Palmer, walked in and discussed the merits of brevity. COL Palmer noted that advertisers pay a lot of money for advertising. He observed that folks listening could only get WHO on a radio receiver. They knew WHO was a radio station. COL Palmer said there was no need for the "this is". He left, only to return shortly, and stated, there is only one Des Moines, so there is no need for Iowa. As a result, the station break became, "WHO, Des Moines."
Reimers' handsome appearance, sincerity and believability landed him a role in one of the best loved episodes of the original Star Trek. He played an admiral in "The Trouble with Tribbles". There is a Star Trek outtake in which Reimers holds a tribble in his hands and states, "You're in good hands with tribbles."
Reimers was born in Moline, IL on October 26, 1912. He died at his daugher's home in Saratoga Springs, NY. In addition to his daughter, Kathryn R. Manning, Reimers is survived by two grandsons.