Chicago Daily News

The Chicago Daily News was an afternoon daily newspaper in the midwestern United States, published between 1876 and 1978 in Chicago, Illinois.[1]

Chicago Daily News
TypeDaily newspaper
Founder(s)Melville E. Stone,
Percy Meggy,
William Dougherty
Ceased publication1978
401 North Wabash
400 West Madison
CityChicago, Illinois
CountryUnited States


Alvin Meyer4
Daily News Building

The Daily News was founded by Melville E. Stone, Percy Meggy, and William Dougherty in 1875 and began publishing early the next year. It strove for mass readership in contrast with its primary competitor, the Chicago Tribune, which was more influential among the city's elites; for many years, the Daily News boasted a 1¢ newsstand price. Byron Andrews, fresh out of Hobart College, was one of the first reporters. Victor F. Lawson bought the Chicago Daily News in 1876 and became its business manager. Stone remained involved as an editor and later bought back an ownership stake, but Lawson took over full ownership again in 1888.[2]

The Chicago Daily News was a major daily 1876-1978

Independent newspaper

During the longtime tenure of Victor F. Lawson, the Chicago Daily News pioneered certain areas of reporting, opening one of the first foreign bureaus among U.S. newspapers in 1898 and starting one of the first columns devoted to radio in 1922. Lawson introduced many innovations to the business including advancements in newspaper promotion, classified advertising, and syndication of news stories, serials, and comics.[3]

A B Blair Chicago Daily News newsroom
Editor A. B. Blair 1915.

In 1912, the Daily News was one of a cooperative of four newspapers, including the New York Globe, The Boston Globe, and the Philadelphia Bulletin, to form the Associated Newspapers syndicate.

The Chicago Daily News became known for its distinctive, aggressive writing style which 1920s editor Henry Justin Smith likened to a daily novel. In its heyday from the 1930s to 1950s it was widely syndicated and boasted a first-class foreign news service.[4]

In 1922, the rival Chicago Tribune began to experiment with radio news at Westinghouse-owned KYW-AM. The Daily News entered into a partnership with The Fair Department Store to launch WGU-AM,[5] which would later be renamed WMAQ-AM. The newspaper would eventually take full ownership of the station and absorb shared band rival WQJ-AM, which was jointly owned by the Calumet Baking Powder Company and the Rainbo Gardens ballroom.[6][7][8] WMAQ would pioneer many firsts in radio—one of them the first complete Chicago Cubs season broadcast on radio in 1925, hosted by sportswriter-turned-sportscaster Hal Totten.[9]

In 1930, the station obtained a license for an experimental television station, W9XAP, but had already begun transmitting from it just prior to its being granted.[10][11] Working with Sears Roebuck stores by providing them with the receivers, those present at the stores were able to see Bill Hay, (the announcer for Amos 'n' Andy), present a variety show from the Daily News building, on August 27, 1930.[12][13] Ulises Armand Sanabria was the television pioneer behind this and other early Chicago television experiments. The Chicago Tribune, not to be left out of radio, purchased WDAP and WJAZ to form WGN-AM.[14] In 1931 The Daily News sold WMAQ to NBC.[15]

In 1929, it moved into a new 26-floor headquarters building at 400 West Madison Street. Designed by architects Holabird & Root, the Art Deco structure became a Chicago landmark, and stands today under the name Riverside Plaza. It featured a mural by John W. Norton depicting the newspaper production process.[16]

Knight Newspapers and Field Enterprises

Marina City - Sun Times - Daily News - by Chalmers Butterfield
Sun-Times and Daily News headquarters

After a long period of ownership by Knight Newspapers (later Knight Ridder), the paper was acquired in 1959 by Field Enterprises, owned by heirs of the former owner of the Marshall Field and Company department store chain. Field already owned the morning Chicago Sun-Times, and the Daily News moved into the Sun-Times' building on North Wabash Avenue. A few years later Mike Royko became the paper's lead columnist, and quickly rose to local and national prominence. However, the Field years were mostly a period of decline for the newspaper, partly due to management decisions but also due to demographic changes; the circulation of afternoon dailies generally declined with the rise of television, and downtown newspapers suffered as readers moved to the suburbs.

In 1977 the Daily News was redesigned and added features intended to increase its appeal to younger readers, but the changes did not reverse the paper's continuing decline in circulation. The Chicago Daily News published its last edition on Saturday, March 4, 1978.[1] There was a subsequent attempt to make it as an afternoon daily, by a Rosemont-based company called CDN Publishing Co., Inc. The paper went back into publication with a weekend edition dated August 4–5, 1979. The publisher of the revival was former Illinois governor Richard B. Ogilvie. This final attempt to gain popularity was not successful and the paper finally went back out of publication a few months later.

The headquarters of the Daily News and Sun-Times was located at 401 North Wabash before the building was demolished. It is now the site of Trump International Hotel and Tower.

Pulitzer Prizes

The Chicago Daily News was awarded the Pulitzer Prize thirteen times.

  • 1925 Reporting
  • 1929 Correspondence
  • 1933 Correspondence
  • 1938 Editorial Cartooning
  • 1943 Reporting
  • 1947 Editorial Cartooning
  • 1950 Meritorious Public Service
  • 1951 International Reporting
  • 1957 Meritorious Public Service
  • 1963 Meritorious Public Service
  • 1969 Editorial Cartooning
  • 1970 National Reporting
  • 1972 Commentary


  1. ^ a b "Daily News says good-by to Chicago". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. March 5, 1978. p. 10A.
  2. ^ Scott, Frank William, and Edmund Janes James. Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814–1879, (Google Books link), Harvard University, 1910, p. 127.
  3. ^ Former President & Publisher, Daily News (Advertising Federation of America. Hall of fame)
  4. ^ The Press: Genius (Time Magazine. Jan. 04, 1926)
  5. ^ Gootee. "Tom Gootee's History of WMAQ-Chapter 3". Gootee. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
  6. ^ Gootee. "Tom Gootee's History of WMAQ-Chapter 11". Gootee. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Gootee. "Tom Gootee's History of WMAQ-Chapter 6". Gootee. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
  8. ^ "Chicago's Notable Time Shares: WMAQ & WQJ". Zecom. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  9. ^ Samuels. "Early WMAQ-Hal Totten, WMAQ's first sportscaster". Samuels. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
  10. ^ "Copy of W9XAP station license". Samuels. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  11. ^ "transcript of letter from Bill Parker, who was assigned the construction of the television studio at the Daily News building in 1929". Television Experimenters. October 28, 1984. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  12. ^ "W9XAP first broadcast-transcript from Daily News story-August 28, 1930". Daily News. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  13. ^ "Early Chicago Television-W9XAP". Hawes TV. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  14. ^ "WGN Timeline 1920's-1930's". WGN Radio. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  15. ^ "Early WMAQ-transcript of article in September 1931 "RCA News"". Radio Corporation of America. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  16. ^ "Chicago architecture-Riverside Plaza". Chicago Architecture Info. Retrieved April 25, 2010.

Further reading

  • Abramoske, Donald J. "The Founding of the Chicago Daily News." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1966): 341-353. in JSTOR
  • Cole, Jaci, and John Maxwell Hamilton. "A Natural History of Foreign Correspondence: A Study of the Chicago Daily News, 1900-1921." Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly (2007) 84#1 pp: 151-166.
  • Dennis, Charles Henry. Victor Lawson: his time and his work (U of Chicago Press, 1935; reprint Greenwood Press, 1968); 471pp; scholarly biography
  • Story of Chicago in Connection with the Printing Business (Chicago: Regan Printing House. 1912)

External links

1934 All-Pro Team

The 1934 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1934 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), the Green Bay Press-Gazette (GB) based on the composite view of the coaches of 10 NFL teams and a half dozen NFL officials, Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Chicago Daily News (CDN).Players displayed in bold were consensus first-team selections. Five players were selected as first-team All-Pro players by all five selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; Chicago Bears halfback Beattie Feathers; Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski; Chicago Bears end Bill Hewitt; and New York Giants center Mel Hein.

1935 All-Pro Team

The 1935 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1935 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the NFL coaches (NFL), the United Press (UP), the Green Bay Press-Gazette (GB), Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Chicago Daily News (CDN).Players displayed in bold were consensus first-team selections. The following six players were selected to the first team by all five selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; New York Giants halfback Ed Danowski; Chicago Cardinals end Bill Smith; Chicago Bears end Bill Karr; New York Giants tackle Bill Morgan; and New York Giants center Mel Hein.

1936 All-Pro Team

The 1936 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1936 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the NFL coaches (NFL), the United Press (UP), Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Chicago Daily News (CDN).Four players were selected for the first team by all four selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; Boston Redskins halfback Cliff Battles; Chicago Bears end Bill Hewitt; and Green Bay Packers guard Lon Evans. Three others were selected for the first team by three selectors: Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski; Boston Redskins tackle Turk Edwards; and New York Giants center Mel Hein.

Donal Henahan

Donal Henahan (February 28, 1921 – August 19, 2012) was an American music critic and journalist who had lengthy associations with the Chicago Daily News and The New York Times. With the Times he won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1986; he had been a finalist in 1982.

Edgar Ansel Mowrer

Edgar Ansel Mowrer (March 8, 1892 – March 2, 1977) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and author best known for his writings on international events.

First Into Nagasaki

First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of War is a collection of reports by Chicago Daily News foreign correspondent George Weller. Originally written in 1945, but not approved for publication by Gen. Douglas MacArthur's military censors. The reports were collected and edited by the author's son Anthony Weller, and published for the first time in 2006.

Henry Adams Thompson

Henry Adams Thompson (March 23, 1837 – July 8, 1920) was an American prohibitionist and professor who was the vice-presidential nominee of the Prohibition Party in 1880.

Thompson was a native of Pennsylvania, but spent much of his career in Ohio. He became a member of the United Brethren church and taught mathematics at several United Brethren colleges in the Midwest. Thompson served as president of Otterbein University from 1872 to 1886. Much of his time as college president was devoted to improving the financial standing of the school during the economic depression that followed the Panic of 1873.

Initially a Republican, he became an early member of the Prohibition Party. His attempt at election to the vice presidency in 1880, running on a ticket with Neal Dow of Maine, was the party's best showing to date, but they still placed a distant fourth to the eventual winners, James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur. He ran for office under the Prohibition banner several other times before and after 1880, all without success.

Jerome Holtzman

Jerome Holtzman (July 12, 1926 – July 19, 2008) was an American sportswriter known for his writings on baseball who served as the official historian for Major League Baseball from 1999 until his death.

John Carmichael (sportswriter)

John P. Carmichael (October 16, 1902 in Madison, Wisconsin – June 6, 1986 in Chicago, Illinois) was a sportswriter who began his career with the Milwaukee Leader in 1924. He moved to Chicago in 1927, where he wrote for the Chicago Herald-Examiner until 1932, then the Chicago Daily News, where his column "The Barbershop" ran for 38 years. Carmichael became sports editor of the Daily News in 1943. He also served as editor for the Who's Who in the Major Leagues from 1938 to 1954.

He retired in 1972 and was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 1974.

John Fischetti

John R. Fischetti (September 27, 1916 – November 18, 1980) was an editorial cartoonist for the New York Herald Tribune and the Chicago Daily News. He received a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1969 and numerous awards from the National Cartoonists Society.

John Gunther

John Gunther (August 30, 1901 – May 29, 1970) was an American journalist and author.

His success came primarily by a series of popular sociopolitical works, known as the "Inside" books (1936–1972), including the best-selling Inside U.S.A. in 1947. However, he is now best known for his memoir Death Be Not Proud, on the death of his beloved teenage son, Johnny Gunther, from a brain tumor.

Lloyd Lewis House

The Lloyd Lewis House in Libertyville, Illinois is a Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1939. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The client for this house was the editor of the Chicago Daily News. This is a two-story house located near the Des Plaines River.

Melville Elijah Stone

Melville Elijah Stone (August 22, 1848 – February 15, 1929) was a newspaper publisher, the founder of the Chicago Daily News, and was the general manager of the reorganized Associated Press.

Mike Downey

Mike Downey (born August 9, 1951 in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and raised in the nearby village of Steger, Illinois) is a retired American newspaper columnist.

From 2003 to 2008, Downey wrote the "In the Wake of the News" column for the Chicago Tribune originated by Ring Lardner in 1913, replacing Skip Bayless in that position at the Tribune. He has also been a columnist in news, entertainment and sports for the Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. In retirement, he has written book reviews for the Times and columns for

Downey began a career in journalism at age 15 for a newspaper chain in the south suburbs of Chicago and graduated at 16 from Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He did not attend college. He has been a police reporter, entertainment writer, editor, critic and columnist and has covered national political conventions, murder trials and twelve Olympic Games. Among his assignments have been an America's Cup yacht race in Australia, tennis at Wimbledon, British Open golf in Scotland, the Tour de France bicycle race, Stanley Cup hockey finals in Montreal and World Cup soccer in Italy, as well as Pan-American Games competitions in Argentina and Cuba.

He also has been a columnist for The Sporting News and Sport Magazine and for 15 years wrote a humor column for Inside Sports magazine known as "The Good Doctor." He was a featured sports correspondent for KABC radio in Los Angeles and for WJR radio in Detroit and has often been a panelist on ESPN television's weekly talk show, The Sports Reporters. He is a voter for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In statewide voting by peers, Downey has been selected National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association sportswriter of the year eleven times, in Illinois (twice), Michigan (twice) and California (seven times).He was honored for his news column by the Los Angeles Press Club in 1998 and won the 1994 Eclipse Award, thoroughbred racing's highest honor. Downey's writing has appeared in a variety of national magazines including GQ, Parade, Entertainment Weekly, Disney Adventures, American Way, Reader's Digest and TV Guide.

He was included as a character in the Elmore Leonard novel Be Cool.

Downey resides in Rancho Mirage, California. He is married to singer Gail Martin, daughter of the entertainer Dean Martin.

Mike Royko

Michael Royko Jr. (September 19, 1932 – April 29, 1997) was an American newspaper columnist from Chicago. Over his 30-year career, he wrote over 7,500 daily columns for three newspapers, the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune. Originally a humorist focused on life in Chicago, he authored Boss, a scathing negative biography of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1971. He was the winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Monroe Karmin

Monroe William ("Bud") Karmin (September 2, 1929 – January 15, 1999) was an American journalist. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967 when working as an investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal. He also worked at different times for The Chicago Daily News, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Newsday.

Nicholas von Hoffman

Nicholas von Hoffman (October 16, 1929 – February 1, 2018) was an American journalist and author. He worked as a community organizer for Saul Alinsky in Chicago for ten years from 1953 to 1963. He wrote for The Washington Post. Later, TV audiences knew him as a "Point-Counterpoint" commentator for CBS's 60 Minutes, from which Don Hewitt fired him in 1974. He was also a columnist for The Huffington Post.

Vaughn Shoemaker

Vaughn Richard Shoemaker (August 11, 1902 Chicago, Illinois – August 18, 1991 Carol Stream, Illinois) was an American editorial cartoonist. He won the 1938 and 1947 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning and created the character John Q. Public.

Shoemaker started his career at the Chicago Daily News and spent 22 years there. His 1938 Pulitzer cartoon for the paper was "The Road Back", featuring a World War I soldier marching back to war. The 1947 winning cartoon for the paper was "Still Racing His Shadow", featuring "new wage demands" of workers trying to outrun his shadow "cost of living". He went on to work for the New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago American, and Chicago Today. By his 1972 retirement he had drawn over 14,000 cartoons.

He lived in Carol Stream, Illinois and died of cancer at the age of 89.

William J. Eaton

William J. Eaton (December 9, 1930 – August 23, 2005) was an American journalist.

He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his Chicago Daily News coverage of the confirmation battle over Clement Haynsworth, an unsuccessful Richard Nixon nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. This landed him on the master list of Nixon political opponents.

In 1980 he shared the Gerald Loeb Award for Large Newspapers for his reporting on the U.S. energy crisis.From 1984 to 1988, Eaton was chief of the Moscow bureau of the Los Angeles Times.

He retired in 1994, then became curator of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows journalism program at the University of Maryland. He was a past president of the National Press Club.

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