Larry Potash joined WGN-TV News in August 1994 and has been anchoring WGN Morning News since 1995, just one year after its inception.
Larry does in-depth stories about history, science, religion and more. In 1996, he travelled to Asia to do a multi-part series on the culture of Hong Kong and the transition to Chinese sovereignty. His daily feature, “Larry’s World,” takes a look at the offbeat, fun and sometimes lesser known facts behind various pop culture phenomena and television news-making itself.
Larry has been recognized for his achievements in broadcasting. Five of his eleven Emmy Awards have been for Best Anchor. The Illinois Broadcasters Association also honored Larry with ten Silver Dome awards for Best Anchor in Chicago.
Larry came to WGN-TV from KOTV-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was a weekend anchor and political reporter.
Larry received his Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College in Boston.
GENEVA, Ill. — A Quaker schoolteacher from Indiana who loved literature, Elizebeth Smith was bored, restless and ready for risks. So she hopped a train to Chicago and visited the Newberry Library to see a 300-year-old book. She asked the librarian about jobs in literature or research. Moments later, a 6’4″ foot man with a grey beard pulled up in a limo. He didn’t just offer her a job—it was an adventure. Together they’d change history. George Fabyan took her to […]
LAKE BLUFF, Ill. — Chicago’s northern suburb of Lake Bluff is a small town, founded as a Methodist camp meeting. In World War I, it was named the most patriotic town in America for its efforts in helping the Red Cross. The movement for Prohibition started there. Lake Bluff residents weren’t used to reporters and photographers descending on their small quiet town as they did during the week of Halloween in 1928. On the morning of Oct. 30, Elfrieda Knaak was […]
CHICAGO — America is fascinated with mob movies. The big screen brings us close to the action without putting our life in jeopardy. One family didn’t have to see it on screen — they saw it in person, not part of the mob, but just close enough. Brothers Michael and Jeffrey Gentile met Chicago’s most infamous mobsters and America’s biggest celebrities, and share these stories in their new family memoir “Mob Adjacent.” Larry Potash explores their backstory.
OAK PARK, Ill. — Along the shady Forest Avenue in Oak Park, tourists stroll through an outdoor gallery of Frank Lloyd Wright homes. A shed over a century old stands in the backyard of Mark Smylie — while not a Frank Lloyd Wright, it’s an important piece of history. It was moved to Oak Park from the World’s Fair as an original ticket booth from the Columbian Exposition of 1893. After the fair ended in October of 1893, attorney Nathan […]
CHICAGO — This November marks the 100-year anniversary of the Allied victory in World War I. It’s a war many of us know little about. Between the Civil War and World War II, it’s somewhat a forgotten war, and a forgotten generation of heroes. As one of his final acts as president, Woodrow Wilson instituted the the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Its backstory is what’s bringing these World War I heroes back to life. WGN’s […]
CHICAGO — More books have been written about the Civil War than any event in America history, and more has been written about President Abraham Lincoln than any other American figure. You might think there’s not much we don’t know, but then, a new discovery: Civil War telegrams. Until several years ago, we didn’t even know they still existed. Some of them sent by the military contained codes, and some of them were even written by Lincoln. The Confederates couldn’t […]
CHICAGO — The Pew Research poll on religion shows one in four Americans describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” That number is at 27 percent, up 87 percentage points from five years ago. This is about equal across every race, gender, religion and political party. But what does spiritual mean? For some it means alternative, like new age. For others, it may mean studying religious text, with no community ritual or worship services. And still some may say it […]
EVANSTON, Ill. — There are 40,000 photographs from the turn of the century that let us peek into a mysterious culture that we’re not supposed to see. Edward Curtis befriended Native Americans, and in some cases even bribed them, to capture these images. Teddy Roosevelt saw Curtis’ work and gave him a letter of support that helped him get funding from JP Morgan for a 20-volume edition. Curtis spent weeks and months learning Native Americans’ traditions. You can see some […]
CHICAGO — What motivated the creators of the Statue of Liberty was not art or engineering — it was the idea. But when it was dedicated in 1886, not everyone in America had achieved true freedom. An artist in Chicago created a series of paintings and sculptures inspired by the Statue of Liberty, reimagining those symbols of freedom to inspire a new generation. Gerald Griffin wasn’t much of a student at Benito Juarez High School, but a friend noticed him […]
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — The collection of artifacts at Robert Ritholz’s North Shore home may be the largest outside any museum in the Midwest. He purchased a skeleton in 2001 and had no way to get it home, so he strapped it in his Rolls Royce with the seat belt. He got some wild looks as he drove through the Loop. Ritholz has a wooden mummy mask from the 26th Dynasty of Egypt 600 B.C., a piece of coal from the […]