Bill Zwecker biography
November 15, 2010 11:11AM
Updated: September 12, 2013 4:16PM
From the top stars of Hollywood to Chicago's best-known celebrities like Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, Bill Zwecker is the expert when it comes to knowing the scoop on the rich and famous. The Chicago Sun-Times columnist -- who is also the entertainment reporter and film critic for Fox Chicago News (WFLD-TV) -- covers the globe finding out the latest news about celebrities for his readers and viewers.
From 2003-2009, Bill was the entertainment reporter and film critic for WBBM-TV (CBS) in Chicago, after filling a similar position with WFLD-TV (Fox) from 2000-2003. Bill was the entertainment contributor and film critic for ''The Eric & Kathy Show'' on WTMX-FM radio, and the entertainment reporter and film critic for WMAQ-TV (NBC) in Chicago from 1993-2000. He was also a regular contributor to ''The Joan Rivers Show,'' 1990-1994.
The Chicago native grew up in Oak Park and River Forest -- graduating from Oak Park-River Forest High School before heading to Princeton University where he received his bachelor's degree with honors in American History and American Civilization. He also attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
After working in politics (for former U.S. Sen. Charles Percy), banking and retailing, Bill turned to journalism fulltime in the early 1980s, following in the footsteps of his mother, Peg Zwecker, the nationally-syndicated, award-winning fashion editor and columnist for the Chicago Daily News and Sun-Times. Bill was associate editor and columnist for the Lerner Newspapers, 1987-92.
Bill has been a frequent contributor to various national news and entertainment programs -- including Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Today Show, The NBC Nightly News, The CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, Showbiz Tonight, Biography on A&E and Larry King Live.
Among numerous honors, Bill has twice been awarded the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award, Chicago journalism's highest accolade. He has been nominated for three Emmy Awards for the Midwest/Chicago region for his work at both WBBM-TV and WFLD-TV. Bill was part of the WBBM-TV news team honored with an Associated Press award in 2004 for coverage of the E-2 nightclub disaster in February, 2003.
Oak Park-River Forest High School inducted Bill into its Hall of Fame in 1995, presenting him with its top alumni honor, the ''Tradition of Excellence'' award. In 2000, Bill was named ''Man of Vision'' by the Midwest Eye Banks for his various civic and charitable contributions. The Israel Film Festival presented Bill with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, along with Larry King and Hollywood producer, Laura Ziskin. Other recent honors have included awards from the Apparel Industry Board of Chicago and Victory Gardens Theater.
Bill Zwecker's involvement in civic and charitable causes in the Chicago area have included board memberships on Roosevelt University, the Chicago Academy for the Arts, the Off the Street Club, the Advisory Board of the Midwest Eye-Banks, Auxiliary Board, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, Auxiliary Board of Lincoln Park Zoo (founding member), Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago, Chicago Lung Association, Princeton Club of Chicago, Henrotin Hospital, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Junior Governing Board), AIDS Foundation of Chicago, North Dearborn Association and the Headline Club of Chicago (Society of Professional Journalists).
Bill lives in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood.