News that trailblazing sports broadcaster and journalist Jeannie Morris was named the first female recipient of a Ring Lardner Award was cheered Tuesday by two who followed in her path.
Starting in 1967 — at a time when women were virtually nonexistent in sportscasting — Morris spent 24 years as a sports reporter, producer and host first at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and then at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2.
“This is well-deserved!” tweeted CBS 2 sports anchor Megan Mawicke. “Working at CBS I know just how much Jeannie paved the way for the rest of us!!”
Tweeted: NBC 5′s Peggy Kusinski: “Every Woman Sportscaster in Chicago should know & thank Jeannie Morris for being smart & a Pro – I’m a huge fan!”
Morris will be honored at the Ring Lardner Awards Dinner for Excellence in Sports Journalism April 1 at the Union League Club of Chicago. Presenting the award will be her former husband and retired CBS 2 sports anchor Johnny Morris.
Also honored will be Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander, whose presenter will be Frank Deford, and the late WGN broadcaster Lloyd Pettit, whose presenter will be Pat Foley.
The awards, founded in 2002 by the Chicago Athletic Association, honor broadcasters and writers who “exemplify the wit and warmth of Ring Lardner’s writing.” A world famous sportswriter, humorist and satirist, Lardner wrote for The Sporting News, the Saturday Evening Post and the Chicago Tribune’s “In the Wake of the News” column.
Proceeds from the annual event benefit the Union League Boys & Girls Clubs.