CHICAGO -- Emmett Dedmon, a former vice-president and editorial director of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Daily News, died of cancer. He was 65.
A memorial service will be held Friday at 3 p.m. at the University of Chicago's Bond Chapel. A private wake was scheduled for Tuesday at the Blake Lamb Funeral Homel a memorial service will be held Friday at the University of Chicago's Bond Chapel.
Dedmon died Sunday night of cancer at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
A native of Auburn, Neb., Dedmon edited the Daily Maroon and earned an economics degree at the University of Chicago before he began his newspaper career in 1941 with the old Chicago Times as an assistant to the foreign editor.
He left the Times at the start of World War II to join the Army Air Corps, where he rose to the rank of captain and earned an Air Medal. Dedmon spent two years in a German prison camp after he was shot down in July, 1943, on a bombing mission over Hanover, Germany. Dedmon recorded his experiences in the prison camp on the backs of chocolate bar wrappers and later used them as the basis for a novel, 'Duty to Live.'
After the war, Dedmon went to work as literary editor of the old Chicago Sun and as literary and drama editor of the Sun-Times.
He was named assistant managing editor of the Sun-Times in 1955, managing editor in 1958, executive editor in 1962, editor in 1965 and vice-president and editorial director of the Sun-Times and Daily News in 1968.
James Hoge, publisher of the Sun-Times, said, 'With energy and imagination Emmett Dedmon gave editorial leadership to the Sun-Times during one of its periods of significant growth. He contributed mightily to Chicago as an editor, author and caring civic leader.'
Dedmon resigned from the Sun-Times and the Daily News in February 1978, shortly after it was announced that the Daily News would close.
Recently, Dedmon had been mentioned as a possible participant in the founding of a new afternoon newspaper, The Chicago Evening Post.
While working for the Sun-Times, Dedmon wrote four more books - 'Great Enterprises,' a centenial history of the Chicago YMCA; 'A History of the Chicago Club'; 'China Journal,' based on his 23-day 1972 trip to China, and 'Fabulous Chicago,' a best-selling history of the city first published in 1953.
Dedmon and former Standard Oil Co. of Indiana Chairman John E. Swearingen had also written a history of the company that is expected to be published soon.
He was a founding member of the Trilateral Commission and a former member of the Pulitzer Prize selection committee.
Dedmon was awarded the University of Chicago's Alumni Service Medal in 1983 and was inducted into the Chicago Press Club's Hall of Fame last October.
He is survived by his wife, Claire; a son, Jonathan; a sister, Dee Henney, and two brothers, Homer and Robert.