Midday with Sondra Gair, a talk show focused on international news, ran on WBEZ from 1986 until Gair’s death in 1994 at age 70. As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we dug into the WBEZ archives to bring you this remembrance of Gair, a trailblazing woman in broadcast journalism who first joined WBEZ in 1975.
The clip featured here from WBEZ’s archives is a remembrance of Gair, which aired shortly after her death. In it, Cheryl Corley, a former WBEZ reporter now with NPR, highlights how Gair wanted her work to inspire people to care for one another. Gair once said that she hoped to make a small contribution to changing the world for the best.
As former Chicago Tribune reporter and regular Midday guest John Maclean states in this memorial, “She was a woman of enormous grace, intellectually. I mean she could really reach people who didn’t think the way she did and make them sing.”
Gair’s tenacity and dedication gave Chicago’s immigrant communities messages from home in a time when information was harder to come by. In a tribute to her work, WBEZ’s airwaves went silent for an entire hour May 27, 1994.
Correction: This piece has been updated to correct the spelling of John Maclean’s name.