He entertained homes for more than half a century. But despite his fame, a local man says the longtime personality was just a simple, sincere person.
"Here's Ed and I together," said Hawaii Kai Resident Steve Fredrick.
The setting was a sunny Los Angeles park, 1982.
"He's smiling, nice guy," said Fredrick.
Steve Fredrick worked the teleprompter for a public service announcement.
"It was a remote shoot. There's the camera man," said Fredrick.
At 28, he says McMahon kept it serious as a spokesman for a spot on substance abuse
"It went very smooth, it went quick, it was all business," said Fredrick.
Fredrick saw a side of him unlike his funny, light-hearted persona on "The Tonight Show."
"He wasn't playing the sidekick character like he was with Johnny Carson, this was a very serious shoot," said Fredrick.
McMahon made his way to fame starting as a marine and making the move onto movies and commercials. Then there was "Star Search" and who can forget the shock and surprises he gave the unsuspecting with the "Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes"
Now 55 and living in Hawaii Kai, some of his star stories, Fredrick may not want you to hear.
"Don't you dare put that on!," said Fredrick.
His time with McMahon lasted a matter of hours but he feels lucky to have had even that.
"We don't have people like that today. It's a different style, it's a different time, it's a different taste and I feel privileged to have known people like that," said Fredrick.