Chicago, IL – The Chicago Headline Club is proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award: Craig Dellimore, Fred Mitchell, Tom Skilling and Roz Varon. The award recognizes their exceptional contributions to journalism and tireless efforts to give readers, listeners and viewers the truth they needed to know about Chicago.

All four will be celebrated Friday, May 10, at the Peter Lisagor Award ceremony at the Union League Club. The award recognizes the best of Chicago journalism and are named for Peter Lisagor, the Chicago Daily News’ Washington bureau chief from 1959 to 1976.

“Headline Club is excited to honor these four individuals, their passion and dedication to their journalistic craft, and their years of service in providing vital information to Chicago’s communities,” said Jillian Melero, co-president of the Headline Club.

The Lifetime Achievement Award committee found that each of these tremendous journalists has delivered important and meaningful stories over their many years in their fields of expertise. The citizens of Chicago and Illinois have benefited greatly from their work.

Craig Dellimore is the political editor for WBBM Newsradio, a post he has held since 2001. He has worked for the radio station for more than 40 years, covering major events throughout Chicago, including the raucous events at City Hall.  

Dellimore served as the Legislative Reporter and Suburban Bureau Chief for the station. He hosts WBBM’s “At Issue” weekend public affairs program. Before coming to Chicago he worked for The Associated Press Radio Network and as a news writer for WCBS.

Dellimore has covered several national political conventions for WBBM, including says 2008—the year Barack Obama was first elected. He has won awards for his work from the Illinois Associated Press, the Headline Club, and Public Narrative.

Fred Mitchell is an award-winning sportswriter and columnist who spent over 41 years with the Chicago Tribune. He is the author of 12 books, including biographies with Bears Hall of Famers Gale Sayers and Richard Dent and Cubs Hall of Farmers Billy Williams and Ryan Sandberg. 

Hired in 1974 as the Tribune’s first African-American sportswriter, Mitchell’s stack of accolades encompass the Bill Gleason Outstanding Sportswriter of the Year, the NABJ pioneer award, the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and the Gale Sayers Foundation “Outstanding Journalist Award.”

Each year since 2009, the National Football Foundation gives “The Fred Mitchell Award” to the nation’s most outstanding college placekicker, in honor of Mitchell, who set the NCAA College Division record for career kick scoring in 1968 at Wittenberg University. A longtime teacher, he now serves as an adjunct professor at DePaul University.

Tom Skilling is WGN-TV’s chief meteorologist emeritus who celebrated more than 45 years with the station last summer and retired at the end of February. Over the decades, he kept viewers well informed on all things weather from his posts at WGN Evening News, WGN News at Nine, and WGN News at Ten.

Starting his career at age of 14, Skilling was hired by WKKD Radio in Aurora, IL, while attending West Aurora High School. 

Always on the go, Skilling’s sterling resume ranges from emceeing an array of major events to recording a podcast with former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel about climate change. One of the many highlights among his string of awards is the Illinois Broadcasters Association “2018 Broadcast Pioneer” honoree.

Roz Varon was the first in the country to bring traffic rush hour reporting to TV morning news, but her vibrant coverage extended to the transportation beat. She joined ABC 7 News as morning traffic anchor in April 1989. A winner of multiple Emmy Awards in traffic reporting, specialty programming, spot news and features, she’s also collected several Peter Lisagor Awards.

Since 2000, Varon has served on the Board of Governors of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and is  a member of the Columbia Alumni Association & Network National Alumni Board (CAAN at Columbia College).

Varon has published “On the Road with Roz: Adventures in Travel and Life,”  detailing her travels around the world, including on Route 66. A breast cancer survivor, Varon works to help heighten cancer prevention and awareness and is an in-demand motivational speaker.