Bill Cameron receives 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Headline Club

“Dean of the City Hall Pressroom” Bill Cameron became WMAQ’s permanent City Hall beat reporter in 1970, where during the next 51 years he covered nine Chicago mayors, nine Illinois governors, and ten U.S. presidents. During that same time, he saw more than 100 high-ranking city, county, and state officials imprisoned for crimes while in office. 

A lifetime student of history, Cameron preserved audio of these events and his archive of thousands of sound bites from Chicago’s major events during the last half-century formed the basis for six albums and CDs he produced.

“It’s the best show in town,” he would tell anyone who asked why he stayed on the beat. When WMAQ went sports/talk in 2000, Cameron migrated to WLS Radio.

In addition to beat reporting, Cameron also produced news-making weekly public affairs programs for 50 years featuring the top stories of the week. He concurrently covered Chicago for the NBC Radio News Network and WNIS, an all-news sister station of WMAQ. He also taught newswriting for many years at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where his students consistently evaluated him as “tough but fair.”

Cameron has won two Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio & Television News Directors Association, two Gabriel Awards, more than a score of AP and UPI awards, and shared in a Peabody Award.

Cameron completed undergraduate studies in journalism from Indiana University, where he was the color announcer for the IU Sports Network, and graduate studies in journalism from the University of Illinois. 

He has been married for 52 years to his wife Joan. They have two children – Elizabeth in Wauconda, Ill., and Matt, in Bellevue, Wash., – and five grandchildren.