by Hank Morris

Leonard John O’Connor (1912-1991) will be remembered by many Chicagoans for his biting commentaries on Channel 5’s 10 p.m. local newscasts during the ‘60s and early ‘70s. He was later selected as the first newsman to do the morning local news cut-ins to NBC’s Today show. He began his career as a news and public affairs writer for the old NBC Blue Radio Network, which, in 1942, was sold to what would eventually become the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). He worked mainly on non-sponsored shows that were performed as community service. O’Connor’s voice was high-pitched, unlike that of typical radio announcers of the day. His overweight, graying, persona did not meet the “ideal” exhibited by most present-day television journalists. His signature sign-off was “And I—am Len O’Connor.”