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John Drury, Retired ABC-7 Anchorman, Dies At 80

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John Drury 1927-2007

On another slow morning, permit me a personal remembrance, if you will.

Longtime ABC-7 anchorman John Drury, who was a Chicago TV icon for forty years, died late last night from complications from ALS; he had been diagnosed with what we commonly call "Lou Gehrig's Disease" about a year after his retirement.

Drury worked at three stations in Chicago beginning in 1962 (channels 2, 7 and 9), with two separate stints at ABC-7, from 1970-79 and again from 1984 until his retirement in 2002; the 10 pm news that he anchored became the #1-rated 10 pm newscast beginning in 1986 and remains so today.

Before I was promoted to staff director in 1996, I worked with John as studio stage manager every day for more than a decade. Beyond being an authoritative TV voice and excellent investigative reporter, he was a kind man with a delightful sense of humor and always treated every member of the behind-the-scenes crew with respect. It was, and remains to me, a great honor to be able to say that I was his co-worker. He was a giant of the broadcasting industry, but even more importantly, he was one of the nicest human beings I have ever met.

He will be greatly missed.