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Burleigh Hines, pioneer reporter for many Chicago news outlets, dies at
Chicago Sun-Times (November 9, 2009) Burleigh Hines, a versatile reporter who spent
more than three decades on the air for WBBM radio and television, died
Mr. Hines, 77, was a pioneering African-American print, radio and TV
journalist who combined a courtly, respectful demeanor with a strong
belief in justice.
"He was one of those people who, if he saw an injustice, he wanted to
right it," said Deb Segal, a WBBM-Channel 2 editor. "Many times, he
stuck his neck out for people."
Born in 1932, the Nashville native started out as a writer for the
Memphis Tri-State Defender. He worked in the 1960s at the Chicago Daily
News, according to a biography from the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the
National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS).
He co-wrote Nightmare in Detroit: A Rebellion and its Victims, a book on
the 1967 Detroit riots that left 43 dead. His co-author was Van Gordon
Sauter, a Daily News writer who became president of CBS News.
Mr. Hines spent six years as a reporter at WBBM-AM (780) before joining
Channel 2 in 1974 as its editorial director. He then worked as a
reporter, and as a producer at a special investigations unit.
"He was a dream," Segal said. "He was lovely, a wonderful guy with a
very gentle sense of humor."
He reported on a variety of topics, from integration to crime. He also
enjoyed his segment called "Sidestreets," which examined offbeat news
and people. One story examined a pet shop dilemma: a puffer fish whose
teeth grew so long, they had to be filed down by a dentist.
In 2002, he was inducted into the prestigious Silver Circle of NATAS,
which honors key contributors to TV journalism.
"He was always very respectful of other people," Segal said. "He really
did come up the hard way. He never forgot his roots."
Mr. Hines retired in 2001 and was living in Glendale, Calif.
According to Channel 2, he is survived by his wife, Denise; six
children, many grandchildren, "and many, many friends who will miss him
very, very much."