|Birth: ||Jan. 4, 1927|
|Death: ||Nov. 25, 2007|
Chicago Loses Much-Loved Anchorman
John Drury Dies At 80
POSTED: 6:31 am CST November 26, 2007
UPDATED: 9:30 am CST November 26, 2007
CHICAGO -- John Drury, whose authoritative delivery and warm demeanor made him one of Chicago's most honored and beloved newsmen for more than 40 years, lost his long battle Sunday with a progressive muscle disease.
Drury, 80, died of complications related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
He was diagnosed in 2004, just two years after he retired as principal news anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, where he reigned atop the 10 p.m. ratings for 17 years. His success was unparalleled in Chicago television news.
In making his personal struggle public, Drury became an activist for brain research even as his disease kept him on a ventilator and eventually robbed him of the ability to speak.
"It has been a bit of a struggle, but we hope to turn this into something positive for ALS," he said weeks after his diagnosis.
In 2005, he auctioned his vast collection of Erector sets and Mysto Magic sets to raise funds for research.
"John was a consummate anchorman and a great communicator," said Emily Barr, president and general manager of Channel 7. "He was a gentleman beyond compare, who faced his illness with tremendous courage and dignity."
"He was the John Wayne of broadcast television," said ABC7 reporter Frank Mathie.
Drury, who was born in Peoria and served in the Navy in World War II, began his broadcasting career at a west suburban Aurora radio station. He shifted to television in 1955 when he became a staff announcer at WTMJ in Milwaukee in 1955. Within a few weeks he began anchoring the news there.
In 1962, he joined CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago and later served two stints at Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9 and two at Channel 7.
He won numerous awards for anchoring and investigative reporting.
Drury is survived by his wife, Ann, and four children from his first wife, Marjorie, who died in 1987.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Created by: anton
Record added: Nov 26, 2007
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