Earl Wilson (May 3, 1907 in Rockford, Ohio – January 16, 1987 in Yonkers, New York) was an American journalist, gossip columnist and author, perhaps best known for his nationally syndicated column, It Happened Last Night.
Wilson's column originated from the New York Post and ran from 1942 until 1983. His chronicling of the Broadway scene during the "Golden Age" of show business formed the basis for a book published in 1971, The Show Business Nobody Knows. He signed his columns with the tag line, "That's Earl, brother." His nickname was "Midnight Earl." In later years, the name of his column was changed to Last Night with Earl Wilson. In his final years with the Post, he alternated with the paper's entertainment writer and restaurant critic, Martin Burden, in turning out the column (Burden, who died in 1993, took over the Last Night column full-time upon Wilson's retirement).
Wilson is also the author of two controversial books Show Business Laid Bare (ISBN 978-0399112768) and an unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra named Sinatra--an Unauthorized Biography (ISBN 978-0451074874). The former book is notable for revealing the extramarital affairs of President John F. Kennedy.
Wilson appeared in a few films as himself, notably the Groucho Marx-Carmen Miranda movie Copacabana (1947), A Face in the Crowd (1957), College Confidential (1960), and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965). His son, Earl Wilson, Jr., became a songwriter for the musical theatre.