Linkletter was born as Arthur Jack Linkletter in San Francisco. He was the oldest of Lois and Art Linkletter's five children. He was said to have been inspired to enter show business by his father's show House Party.
As a boy, Mr. Linkletter inspired one of his father's most famous "House Party" routines: interviewing young children.
At 15, Linkletter began doing an interview show for CBS Radio, which was soon followed by an hourlong program featuring records and stunts called "Teen Time."
Linkletter hosted seven television shows throughout his career, including Haggis Baggis, Hootenanny, On the Go (1958–59), Here's Hollywood and America Alive. He also hosted a number of events and pageants, including the Miss Universe pageant, events for the World's Fair and many parades.
On February 23, 1961, Linkletter and his father, Art, appeared together in "The Bible Man," one of the final episodes of Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre, which aired for five seasons on CBS. In the story line, the father, the Reverend Albert Pierce, is a traveling evangelist who is estranged from his grown son, Jimmy, because he had tried to avoid telling Jimmy of the real circumstances of his mother's death. The son accused his father of causing the mother's death by burning down her house. However, she was already dead before the fire because a paramour had beaten her to death. The episode ends in a reconciliation of father and son. "The Bible Man" was Jack Linkletter's only regular acting appearance. When on television, he otherwise played himself.
In recent decades, he was president of Linkletter Enterprises, developer and operator of commercial and industrial real estate and manager of diversified family investments. He also operated the Link Fund, a private fund investing in equity and debt instruments. Linkletter served as the International President of YPO (The Young presidents Organization) and national director of the 4-H Clubs.
- McLellan, Dennis (December 20, 2007). "TV host followed in father Art's footsteps". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2007.
- "Jack Linkletter, son of Art Linkletter, dies at 70". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. December 21, 2007. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2007.
- "The Bible Man on Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre". Retrieved September 18, 2019.
- Obituary: "Jack Linkletter, Second-Generation TV Host, Dies at 70 " The New York Times. December 21, 2007.