When Eddie moved to WGN late nights, my radio switched to WGN too.
Eddie's heart was the City of Chicago. When the then Chicago Mayor, Jane Byrne, was throwing lavish fireworks displays while the City's food pantries were critically low, Eddie took personal offense that the Chicago needy were going hungry while she was spending city funds for celebrations. What started as a radio rant became a yearly food drive for Chicago's hungry. Over the years, I have no doubt he collected millions of dollars worth of food for those in the Chicago area who needed it during his overnight shows. Eddie is quoted as saying that his Good Neighbor Food Drive was the greatest accomplishment and his proudest achievement.
He eventually became a columnist for the Lerner Newspaper group, and his heart was broken when he was fired due to budget cuts.
When I started writing this I took a beer and toasted Chicago Ed's memory. I said that Bob Bell and Ray Rayner's passings took a piece of my childhood. Now a piece of my teenage and early adulthood years is gone.
Chicago Eddie Schwartz (May 5, 1946 - Feb. 4, 2009)
Chicago Tribune's Obit:
Chicago Sun-Times Obit:
You know, I just had a thought. While I only knew Ed through the radio, I do think he'd love it if non-perishable food was donated to your local food pantries in his name. Just one can of soup donated in his memory would prob. be something he have loved.