Peter Lisagor

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Peter Lisagor (August 5, 1915 – December 10, 1976) was Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Daily News from 1959 to 1976 and was one of the most respected and best-known journalists in the United States.[1] Lisagor gained nationwide recognition from his syndicated column and appearances on such public-affairs broadcasts as Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Washington Week in Review, and Agronsky & Company.

Lisagor was born in Keystone, West Virginia and moved to Chicago at age 14, where he attended Marshall High School. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in political science.

Lisagor began his career in journalism in 1939 as a sportswriter for the Daily News. During World War II he was a sergeant in the Army, serving as a correspondent and London editor for the service newspaper, Stars and Stripes. He returned to the Daily News after the war.

In 1948 Lisagor was selected for a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. He was a recipient of the Newspaper Guild's Page One award, the George Foster Peabody Broadcasting award, the William Allen White award and the Edward Weintal Prize for diplomatic reporting. He served as president of the White House Correspondents Association, the Gridiron Club, the Overseas Writers Association, and the State Department Correspondents Association.

Lisagor died in 1976 of complications from cancer of the lung and larynx. He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.[2]

In 1977, the United States' largest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Chicago Headline Club, established the Peter Lisagor Awards "to inspire Chicago-area journalists to follow his outstanding example and to recognize truly superior contributions to journalism." After Peter Lisagor died, his colleagues on Washington Week in Review gave Mr. Lisagor's explanation of his own philosophy of reporting: "Ride down the middle of the street, shooting out windows on both sides." [3] The competition's categories range from in-depth reporting and public service to business, commentary and feature reporting.


  1. ^ Lisagor was one of the few reporters to accompany American leader Lyndon Johnson aboard Air Force 1 during the president's secret 1966 visit to Viet Nam; "Lisagor Flies with Johnson," Chicago Daily News, Oct. 26, 1966, p. 1.
  2. ^ "Washington journalist Peter Lisagor, 61, dead", Chicago Tribune, December 11, 1976, accessed March 25, 2006
  3. ^ "Peter Lisagor Award, the Chicago Headline Club - information page for 2010 award cycle". Retrieved 20 August 2011.