CHICAGO — If you are a long-time viewer of WGN News, you will remember the name Jack Taylor.
Taylor died this weekend from heart failure at the age of 94.
The legendary broadcaster was the face of WGN News during the 1970’s alongside Len O’Connor, Harry Volkman and Jack Brickhouse. Taylor had a journalistic career that spanned 70 years, which included more than two decades parked in front of the camera at WGN, and included introducing Chicago to a certain meteorologist.
A son of a dirt farmer, Taylor rose from extreme poverty in the dust bowl era to join the army at 17. It was at this point Taylor, and his baritone voice, caught the attention of a military superior over the phone, according to his daughter Sherry.
“An officer walked by and said, ‘hey kid, hey kid, who are you?’” said Sherry Taylor Aleksich. “And [Taylor] said ‘I’m a private in the Jeep pool’. And [the officer] said, ‘we need an announcer in Fort Knox,’ and that’s how he got started.”
Taylor remained a part of Chicago media well into the 90’s and beyond. At the age of 92, Taylor called it a career by giving a short commentary on WDCB-FM’s ‘Midwest Ballroom’ at the College of DuPage.
The wake for Taylor will be held Friday, Feb. 10 at the Kristan Funeral Home in Mundelein, with his funeral set for the following day at Community Protestant Church at 11 a.m.