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Bill Campbell

As host and producer of WLS-7's 'Chicagoing' and Director of Community Services, Bill Campbell has been bridging the gap between media and community his entire adult career. Born on Chicago's historic South Side, on May 25, 1950, Campbell was surrounded by the arts and sciences. His father was a chemist who graduated with honors from the University of Chicago and his mother was a visual artist who attended the School of the Art Institute along with such notables as Gordon Parks. Campbell fondly recalls his childhood, growing up in a building owned and inhabited entirely by his extended family. Upon graduating from Carleton College in Minnesota with a B.A. in Urban Studies, he worked as a Program Specialist in the Office of the Mayor, and later as the Director of Communications for the Chicago Urban League.

In 1978, Campbell was hired as Director of Community Services and soon thereafter began hosting and producing the popular weekly news magazine show, "Chicagoing". For his work, Campbell has been awarded three Chicago Emmy Awards for Outstanding Editorial Achievement.

Aside from his activities at WLS-TV, Campbell sits on several advisory boards, including the Board of Directors for the National Conference For Community and Justice (NCCJ)-Northern Illinois, and the Cultural Affairs Advisory Board for the City of Chicago. Campbell has been recognized numerous times for his contributions to the community, receiving the Chicago Urban League's Beautiful People Award in 1985; the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award from St. Sabina Church in 1984 and Communications Excellence Award from the Cosmopolitan Chamber of Commerce in 1988.

Accession Number

A2001.008

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

5/3/2001

Last Name

Campbell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Frank I. Bennett Elementary School

John M. Harlan Community Academy High School

Carleton College

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Bill

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

CAM02

Favorite Season

October

Speaker Bureau Notes

Has sought to bridge the divide between media and community, through his work at WLS-7.

Has been repeatedly recognized for his efforts in the community.

Notes

Professional: Host/Producer of WLS "Chicagoing", a show about Chicago's cultural past, present and future.

WLS's Director of Community Services since 1978

1975-1978 director of Communication for the Chicago Urban League.

1972 to 1975 Program specialist in the Office of the Mayor

Awards and honors:

1988 Named as a William Benton Fellow in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago, a one-year fellowship for distinguished members of the radio and television broadcast community

1985: Chicago Urban League: Beautiful People Award
1980: Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club/Society of
Professional Journalists
1984: Dr. Martin Luther King JR:. Freedom Award from St. Sabina Church
1988 Communications Excellence Award from the Cosmopolitan Chamber of Commerce.

3 Chicago Emmy Wwards for Outstanding Editorial Achievement (1979, 1980, 1985)

Memberships:

Board of Directors for National Conference For Community and Justice (NCCJ)-Northern Illinois

Cultural Affairs Advisory Board for the City of Chicago

Some Stuff From the Transcript

Sponsor

McCormick Tribune Foundation

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Positive on purpose.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/25/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Television personality Bill Campbell (1950 - ) was the award-winning host and producer of WLS-7's Chicagoing. Born and raised on Chicago's South Side, Campbell has been recognized numerous times for his contributions to the community, and received the Chicago Urban League's Beautiful People Award in 1985.

Employment

City of Chicago

Chicago Urban League

WLS TV

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Photo - Bill Campbell as 11 month old infant

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Photo - Bill Campbell as infant with "first michrophone"

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Photo - Bill Campbell sitting atop a drum

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Drawing by Bill Campbell as a 5 year old

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Photo - Bill Campbell as a five year old in kindergarten

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Photo - Bill Campbell in preschool at Greater St. John Baptist Church

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Photo - Bill Campbell in the fifth grade

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Photo - Bill Campbell in a Bennett Elementary School Christmas play

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Photo - Bill Campbell in the third grade

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Photo - Bill Campbell poses with stuffed puppy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Photo - Bill Campbell plays the sax with college jazz ensemble

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Photo - Bill Campbell with college jazz ensemble

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Photo - Bill Campbell poses with parents and brother Kevin

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Photo - Bill Campbell with brother in 1956

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Photo - Bill Campbell's sisters in 1973

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Photo - Bill Campbell with his five nephews

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Photo - Bill Campbell with nieces and nephews

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Photo - Bill Campbell with nieces and nephews, 1998

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Photo - Bill Campbell with singer Nancy Wilson

Tape: 1 Story: 20 - Photo - Bill Campbell's picture from a soup cookbook

Tape: 1 Story: 21 - Bill Campbell's slating

Tape: 1 Story: 22 - Bill Campbell's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 23 - Bill Campbell talks about his mother and grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 24 - Bill Campbell describes his grandfathers connection with Wilberforce University

Tape: 1 Story: 25 - Bill Campbell details his scientist father's life

Tape: 1 Story: 26 - Bill Campbell discusses his fathers upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 27 - Bill Campbell's paternal grandfather on education

Tape: 1 Story: 28 - Bill Campbell talks about his younger sisters and moving to Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 29 - Bill Campbell shares the story of how his parents first met

Tape: 1 Story: 30 - Bill Campbell shares more stories from his childhood in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bill Campbell talks about his childhood and siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bill Campbell shares some stories from childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bill Campbell continues and shares his philosophy of "positivity on purpose"

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bill Campbell remembers the segregation of Chicago's South Side in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bill Campbell talks about his elementary school and more childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bill Campbell discusses the values he received at home

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bill Campbell recalls how meeting Daddy-O Daylie and Bill Cosby changed his life

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bill Campbell continues with his story of Daddy-O Daylie and Bill Cosby

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bill Campbell runs into Bill Cosby 20 years later and says Daddy-O Daylie is his hero

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bill Campbell on God's will and his lifes choices

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bill Campbell describes how he ended up attending Carleton College

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bill Campbell recounts his college study abroad in the Ivory Coast

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bill Campbell recounts his near-death experience abroad

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bill Campbell talks about how his near death experience helped him deal with the loss of his mother

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bill Campbell on the transition from Chicago to rural Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bill Campbell talks about playing the sax and his musical interests

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bill Campbell continues with stories from his music background

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bill Campbell tells how these collegiate experiences prepared him for his future success

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bill Campbell discusses his transition from college to working for Mayor Richard J. Daley

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bill Campbell talks about an incedent when interning at Illinois Bell

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bill Campbell talks about his experience working for the Mayor's Office

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bill Campbell continues to talk about working for the Chicago Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bill Campbell talks about the fortuitous circumstances which led him to Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bill Campbell reflects on his years on ABC- Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bill Campbell discusses the origins of his talk show- "Chicagoing"

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bill Campbell talks about his ABC-Channel 7 jazz group

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bill Campbell talks about the family environment at WLS-TV/ABC-Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bill Campbell talks more about his talk show "Chicagoing"

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bill Campbell distinguishes his TV format from the typical community affairs program

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bill Campbell discusses avoiding the "public affairs ghetto" on television

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Bill Campbell offers his views on African Americans in broadcast journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Bill Campbell ponders his future in broadcast journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Bill Campbell decides to make the leap from ABC Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Bill Campbell shares his views on spirituality

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Bill Campbell's hopes for the future and reflections on his legacy

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Bill Campbell continues to talk about working for the Chicago Urban League
Bill Campbell discusses the origins of his talk show- "Chicagoing"
Transcript
and I applied and I was hired to serve as a program specialist at the Chicago Urban League and they also made me urban communications coordinator and director of communications of P.R., but before I, and that experience was another, as I look back, the progression was just so profound for me because here I was working for an organization like the Chicago Urban League, with its accomplishment or its mission, but I still wanted to be in T.V. or radio. It didn't matter. And I hosted a program on WSBN, or WLUP for the Urban League called "Urban Update" and it was great. I got to interview luminaries in the area including some people that are more infamous and famous including David Duke, who at the time was, you know, the head of the KKK [ Ku Klux Klan]. And I just, I really had this desire to move into broadcasting and was doing everything I could and not focusing as much energy and attention as I should or could have on what was happening in the moment. Well, the most profound thing occurred. I had a dream and in the dream was a message, "Bill, if God wants you to be a broadcaster, you will be. But you are not serving your employer by not focusing on what you were hired to do. You need to do your job." And it was one of those dreams where I woke up 3:00 a.m. in the morning and I got the message and I made a decision that I will not pursue a career in broadcasting. That I will focus my time and attention and energy in doing the best job that I could. Now I wasn't' doing a bad job but my head was in the inimitable words of Horace Grant- formerly of the Chicago Bulls, "My head was else place." You know, I was not focused on what I was doing.$Now how did the talk show come about? Because you hosted and that wasn't there at the beginning was it?$$What happened was I was editorial director from '78 [ 1978] to August of 1988. I was honored and really blessed with the privilege of recieving a William Bennett Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism in the University of Chicago. So, the last editorial was in August of '88 [1988], and then I took nine months and went to the University of Chicago and I had several job offers to do something else, but I decided I wanted to go back to Channel 7, and they no longer were doing editorials. So I was given the opportunity to continue as Director of Community Services. But Joe Ahern, President and General Manager, asked if I would take the spirit and philosophy of the editorials which we always take on location, we weren't just in the studio pontificating them. We were focused on an issue, we went to where the issue occurred and we used the city as a living set to demonstrate what was going on out there. So "Chicagoing" was born. He gave me the opportunity to come up with the idea for the show at 3:00 in the morning, "Chicagoing" pops into my head. And we've been on the air, this June eleventh, it will be twelve years.$$So you came up with the name and everything?$$Yeah. And it's our jazz group that plays the theme song.