Lifetime Achievement Award

The Chicago Headline Club Lifetime Achievement Award is an annual award recognizing journalists for their extraordinary contribution to the community and/or the profession. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors those journalists who tirelessly work to cover, report, edit and tape the news day in and day out.

2021 Honorees: Bill Cameron and Dahleen Glanton

“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.

Read more about why Cameron was selected

Dahleen Glanton was born in a Georgia mill town where, as she has written, “race was at the center of just about everything.” After coming to Chicago in 1989 to join the Tribune from the Los Angeles Times, she trained her keen eye and powerful writing on how “race drives everything from politics to economics to the violence that consumes so many African-American neighborhoods, including my adopted hometown.” 

She held several positions at the Tribune, ranging from associate metro editor to bureau chief in Atlanta, and covered some of the biggest stories of recent decades, including Hurricane Katrina, President Barack Obama’s 2008 election, and military families during the Iraq War.

As a columnist, she addressed a variety of subjects but made a specialty of encouraging dialogue on race, poverty and violence. She received numerous media awards, including from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of News Editors, which gave her the Mike Royko Award for Commentary/Column Writing in 2018.

Read more about why Glanton was selected

About the Award

A nominating committee appointed each year by the Headline Club president seeks out nominations both from inside and outside of the journalism community. The Headline Club board then votes to approve each year’s honorees. To nominate someone, email the Chicago Headline Club at or fill out this form.

Lifetime Award recipients recognized by the Headline Club are journalists known primarily for their work in Chicago or who have worked primarily in Chicago media. Nominees come from various aspects of the media, including print, broadcast, the trade press and Web-based publications.

A list of past recipients is available here