Richard O. Linke, Andy Griffith’s longtime manager, dies

HONOLULU (AP) — Richard O. Linke, longtime personal manager for Andy Griffith and an associate producer of the TV series “The Andy Griffith Show,” has died. He was 98.

Ohio University’s communications department says Linke died Wednesday at his home in Hawaii. Linke studied at the university and taught there as a visiting professor.

He also was Griffith’s manager for nearly 40 years and the actor’s closest adviser for much of his career.

Linke grew up in Summit, New Jersey.

He was a top publicist for Capitol Records in 1953 when he heard Griffith’s regional recording “What It Was, Was Football,” a comedic monologue about a country boy who sees his first football game. He signed Griffith with Capitol Records, and the recording became a nationwide hit.

Linke is survived by his wife, Bettina, and five children.