From The Archives: The Trailblazing Legacy Of Sondra Gair

In honor of Women’s History Month, this clip from WBEZ’s archives highlights the late Sondra Gair, who brought international news to Chicago’s local airwaves.

Sondra Gair
Famed broadcast journalist Sondra Gair hosted a midday program on WBEZ for many years prior to her death in 1994. A clip from WBEZ's archives highlights her legacy at the station and well beyond. WBEZ Archives
Famed broadcast journalist Sondra Gair hosted a midday program on WBEZ for many years prior to her death in 1994. A clip from WBEZ's archives highlights her legacy at the station and well beyond. WBEZ Archives
Sondra Gair
Famed broadcast journalist Sondra Gair hosted a midday program on WBEZ for many years prior to her death in 1994. A clip from WBEZ's archives highlights her legacy at the station and well beyond. WBEZ Archives

From The Archives: The Trailblazing Legacy Of Sondra Gair

In honor of Women’s History Month, this clip from WBEZ’s archives highlights the late Sondra Gair, who brought international news to Chicago’s local airwaves.

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.

Sondra Gair and Jimmy Carter
Sondra Gair interviews Jimmy Carter. WBEZ Archives

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.

Justine Tobiasz is WBEZ’s media archivist. Follow her @jutobzz.