Jeannie Morris, Trailblazing Chicago Sportscaster, Dies at 85

The wedding resulted in divorce, and in 1960 she wed Johnny Morris, a large receiver for the Chicago Bears, whom she had additionally met on the Santa Barbara campus.

Ms. Morris’s first break in sports activities got here after her husband retired from the Bears in 1967 and have become a neighborhood sportscaster. When The Chicago American newspaper requested him if he would write a column, he declined however stated that his spouse was a author and needs to be employed.

She acquired the job, however her byline didn’t mirror her title. Fairly, following societal norms of the time, “Mrs. Johnny Morris” wrote a weekly column, “Soccer Is a Girl’s Recreation,” which ran within the paper’s girls’s pages earlier than it shifted to the sports activities part of The American and, later, The Chicago Day by day Information. Ultimately, her byline modified to Jeannie Morris.

Because the spouse of a Bear, she had loads of materials to write down about.

“It was as a result of I lived 10 years of a soccer life that most individuals didn’t see,” she advised The Athletic in her final interview, shortly earlier than she died. “There was a subculture. There have been good tales within the subculture.”

In 1969, Ms. Morris joined Mr. Morris on the Chicago tv station WMAQ, the place they started a future as a preferred native media couple. Early on, the station marketed her as a soft-news reporter. An commercial in The Chicago Tribune in 1970 promoted her “lady’s view of the sports activities world,” by which it stated viewers met “high personalities in sports activities, their households and their buddies.”

She would quickly show herself as a discipline reporter, masking and producing information and options on Chicago sports activities.

“She was my No. 1 reporter,” Mr. Morris stated in a telephone interview. “Loads of instances I needed to give her robust assignments, however I knew she was as much as it.” He added, “She was aggressive — as aggressive as I used to be — and we made a superb workforce.”

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