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Russ Ewing

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Information about Russ Ewing

Profile image of Russ Ewing

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish, Prime Rib
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Michigan
Favorite Quote:
Do the best you can with what you have.

Birthplace

Born:
12/28/1923
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish, Prime Rib
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Michigan
Favorite Quote:
Do the best you can with what you have.

Birthplace

Born:
12/28/1923
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Russ Ewing is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

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.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Russ Ewing interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Russ Ewing's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Russ Ewing recalls his earliest memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Russ Ewing talks about the neighborhood at 42nd and Champlain
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Russ Ewing remembers his elementary school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Russ Ewing talks about his love of flying
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Russ Ewing recalls high school and his love of music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Russ Ewing discusses his musical education and aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Russ Ewing recalls his teenage years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Russ Ewing talks about his year in the Navy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Russ Ewing discusses playing music in Chicago
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Russ Ewing recalls his days playing in a jazz trio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Russ Ewing remembers his aunt and uncle
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Russ Ewing talks about his wife and first house
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Russ Ewing discusses working at the Chicago Fire Department
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Russ Ewing talks about race issues in the Chicago Fire Department
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Russ Ewing describes life in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Russ Ewing discusses Glencoe, Illinois in the 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Russ Ewing explains why he lived in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Russ Ewing recalls his years as a piano salesman
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Russ Ewing talks about his move back to Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Russ Ewing describes his first story for NBC
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Russ Ewing discusses how he began at NBC
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Russ Ewing recalls his early days at NBC
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Russ Ewing describes his first break on NBC radio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Russ Ewing talks about the transition from radio to television
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Russ Ewing describes the Chicago television news scene
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Russ Ewing tells an anecdote about a news story he covered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Russ Ewing talks about saving a young girl's life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Russ Ewing recalls convincing a criminal to turn himself in
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Russ Ewing describes negotiating a criminal's surrender in Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Russ Ewing on police reaction to his work with criminals
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Russ Ewing talks about meeting John Wayne Gacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Russ Ewing discusses the John Wayne Gacy story
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Russ Ewing discusses his relationship with John Wayne Gacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Russ Ewing talks about his John Wayne Gacy book
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Russ Ewing recalls the Paul Hall case
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Russ Ewing refuses to cover the Flukie Stokes funeral
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Russ Ewing tells a story about a crooked real estate agent
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Russ Ewing decries the current state of television news
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Russ Ewing discusses the future of blacks in television news
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Russ Ewing talks about the future of the 'Chicago Defender'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Russ Ewing talks about the O.J. Simpson verdict and up and coming Chicago reporters
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Russ Ewing discusses his love of flying and music
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Russ Ewing talks about why people trust him
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Russ Ewing discusses how he'd like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Russ Ewing with his wife Ruth Ewing in Hawaii
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Russ Ewing reporting on a strike in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Publicity photo of Russ Ewing from WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Russ Ewing interviewing Nation of Islam leader, Elijah Muhammad, Chicago, Illinois, 1965
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Russ Ewing with comedian Bob Hope at Condessa Del Mar supper club, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Russ Ewing with band leader, Count Basie, ca. 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Russ Ewing with fellow WMAQ-TV reporter, Phil Walters at the local Emmy Awards, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Russ Ewing safeguards an arrest, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Russ Ewing rides a parade route with fellow WMAQ-TV reporters Jane Pauley and Tim Weigel
  • Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Russ Ewing with his camera crew at WLS-TV going over plans to shoot a news story, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Russ Ewing reporting for WLS-TV, Chicago on a criminal suspect who surrendered to him, Gary, Indiana
  • Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Russ Ewing aiding in the surrender of a criminal suspect, Gary, Indiana
  • Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - The criminal suspect who surrendered himself to the police chief with the aid of Russ Ewing, Gary, Indiana
  • Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Plaque presented to Russ Ewing for aiding the Tracy family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Newspaper clipping of Russ Ewing covering a local news story, Chicago, Illinois, 1972