William Campbell ’72

18 March 2021
William Campbell

Class: 1972

Major: Urban Studies

Deceased: March 17, 2021


Deceased 3/17/2021

Bill Campbell, who was best known for his long run as host and producer of the weekly public affairs show “Chicagoing,” died Wednesday Wednesday at a Symphony Care Network nursing home in Chicago after a long illness, according to his family. He was 70.

The longtime Evanston resident served as director of editorials and community services over a 32-year career at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7.

Born on Chicago’s South Side, Campbell was the son of a chemist father and visual artist mother. After graduating from John Marshall Harlan High School and Carleton College in Minnesota, he worked as a staff assistant to the administrative assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and director of communications for the Chicago Urban League.

He joined ABC 7 in 1978 and spent his first 10 years at the station writing and delivering on-air editorials — expressing the views of station management on critical issues of the day — which he taped on location.

After serving a nine-month William Benton Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago, he returned to ABC 7 in 1989 to find the station was no longer broadcasting editorials.

So general manager Joe Ahern offered him the opportunity to host a weekly talk show in “the spirit and philosophy of the editorials,” Campbell said.

The result was “Chicagoing,” a Sunday morning staple that aired for 21 years until Campbell retired in 2010. He won multiple Emmy Awards for “Chicagoing” and his editorials.

Campbell later focused on CampbellQuest Ltd., a Chicago-based consulting, coaching and communications firm launched in 1997.

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  • 2021-12-06 11:43:17

    Bill was a friendly hallmate on Ground Davis during a daunting freshman year. RIP.

  • 2022-01-07 12:29:48
    Margaret "Meg" Mahoney

    Bill was my fellow R.A. on 4th Burton senior year and, boy, did I luck out. What a fabulous person he was back then--and throughout his life.

  • 2022-02-08 22:16:16
    Betty "Betty" Johnson

    I did not know Bill at Carleton, but I had a delightful conversation with him at a Carleton Alumni event in Chicago. The event was held downtown at the ABC television studio where Oprah Winfrey taped her early shows. Not long afterwards, I ran into Bill at a popular Evanston breakfast spot. Bill was well known and well loved for his Sunday morning television show in Chicago.

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