TimelineGet InvolvedNominate a History Maker
 
Home | MediaMakers | Russ Ewing
Profession
Favorites
Color: Blue
Food: Fish, Prime Rib
Quote: Do the best you can with what you have.
Season: Fall, Spring
Vacation Destination: Michigan
Birthplace
Chicago, Illinois United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 5/27/2001

Born on Chicago's South Side, on December 28th, 1923, Russ Ewing was adopted by his aunt at the age of seven after his parents passed away. A neighboring family adopted and raised Ewing where, from an early age, he dreamed of becoming a commercial pilot.

Not only did he found the popular Russ Ewing Trio, but he went on to work as a firefighter and piano salesman before landing a job as a newsroom courier with NBC 5 Chicago, in 1964. He was promoted to writer and then reporter within two short years, and his on-air debut occurred in 1967. From the beginning, Ewing added a personal approach to news reporting. The first story Ewing covered involved a bank charging higher interest rates to its minority customers. His coverage earned him the first of nine Emmy Awards.

Ewing's distinguished broadcasting career spans almost forty years. A Chicago icon, revered for his special brand of "streetwise reporting," Ewing earned a reputation for fair and humane treatment of those on the margins of society. Over the course of his career, more than 100 murder suspects turned themselves in to Ewing, and the local police department came to respect his involvement in difficult cases. Ewing's coverage of the infamous John Wayne Gacy murders earned him another Emmy Award and laid the foundation for the best selling book, Buried Dreams; Inside The Mind Of A Serial Killer.

In August 1981, Ewing left NBC 5 and joined the reporting staff of ABC 7 Chicago, where he continued to cover landmark cases and solidify his reputation as a thorough and honest investigative journalist. He retired from the station in 1995; only three years later to rejoin the staff of his first television home, NBC 5 Chicago.

In addition to his many Emmys, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences bestowed upon Ewing their coveted Silver Circle Award. Although Ewing was retired at the time of the interview, he continued to be active in the community. An accomplished jazz musician and lover of planes, Ewing lives with his wife of over 40 years, Ruth.

Speaker Bureau Notes:

Photo Gallery

Search Occupation Category: