He debuted on KXLJ on April 1, 1951, on the ABC Radio Network. Paul Harvey was also heard originally on Sundays. Later, the Sunday program would move to Saturdays. The program continued until his death.
Paul Harvey was also known for the radio series The Rest of the Story, described as a blend of mystery and history, which premiered on May 10, 1976. The series quickly grew to six broadcasts a week, and continued until Harvey's death in 2009. The Rest of the Story series was written and produced by the broadcaster's son, Paul Harvey, Jr., from its outset and for its thirty-three year duration.
Harvey's on-air persona was influenced by that of sportscaster Bill Stern. During the 1940's, Stern's The Colgate Sports Reel and newsreel programs used many of the techniques later used by Harvey, including his emphatic style of delivery, and the use of phrases such as Reel Two and Reel Three to denote segments of the broadcast—much like Harvey's Page Two and Page Three.
Harvey was also known for catch phrases he used at the beginning of his programs, such as "Hello Americans, I'm Paul Harvey. You know what the news is, in a minute, you're going to hear ... the rest of the story." He always ended, "Paul Harvey ... Good day." A story might be "This day's news of most lasting significance." At the end of a report about someone who had done something ridiculous or offensive, Harvey would say, "He would want us to mention his name," followed by silence, then would start the next item. The last item of a broadcast, which was often a funny story, would usually be preceded by "For what it's worth."
Other phrases made famous by Harvey included "Here's a strange..." (a story with an unusual twist) and "Self-government won't work without self-discipline."
In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' most prestigious civilian award, by President George W. Bush.