For 60 years, Regis Philbin entertained television fans with his sharp wit, warm smile and uniquely New York persona.

Born in the Bronx in 1931, Philbin attended Cardinal Hayes High School before graduating from the University of Notre Dame.

He then served in the Navy before breaking into show business in 1955 as a page at "The Tonight Show."

A local San Diego station gave him his first hosting job with "The Regis Philbin Show," and in 1967 he became known to national audiences as the sidekick on "The Joey Bishop Show."

Philbin hosted a series of talk shows in the ensuing years before finally hitting it big when WABC-TV in New York paired him with Kathie Lee Gifford on its morning program in 1985.

The two shared incredible chemistry, ratings soared, and the show became nationally syndicated in 1988 as "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee."

After Gifford left the show in 2000, Kelly Ripa was picked as Philbin's permanent co-host in 2001, and "Live! With Regis and Kelly" continued to be a ratings success.

Philbin officially retired from the show in 2011.

In an Instagram post, Ripa said of her co-host's passing, "We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire every day to fill his shoes on the show."

Regis Philbin was a television success no matter what show he was a part of. He was beloved by viewers as the original host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "America's Got Talent."

He also hosted the Miss America Pageant, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve and the Daytime Emmy Awards.

Younger viewers knew him as a regular guest on "The Late Show With David Letterman." The two became close friends, and Philbin filled in for Letterman when the host underwent emergency heart surgery.

Regis Philbin was also a singer who released several albums in his career. His 2005 Christmas album even featured a duet with his close friend, Donald Trump.

"One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves, at 88. He was a fantastic person, and my friend,” the president tweeted.

Philbin was nominated for 37 Daytime Emmy Awards in his career, winning , and was honored with an Emmy for Lifetime Achievement in 2008.

He was inducted into both the Television Academy Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcaster Hall of Fame in 2006.

Regis Philbin is survived by his wife Joy and three children.

He was 88 years old.