Chicago Defender’s Earl Calloway dies at 87

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Earl Calloway died Wednesday at the age of 87. When joining the Chicago Defender in 1963, he worked as both Entertainment and Fine Arts Editor.

Calloway was born Oct. 4, 1926 in Birmingham, Ala. Prior to joining the Chicago Defender, Calloway had worked for the Associated Negro Press, the Chicago Courier and Negro Press International. He graduated from Roosevelt University and attended both Chicago State University and Governors State University. He was a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists Chicago Chapter.

Besides writing, Calloway also performed in opera productions such as “Aida,” “Carmen,” “Die Fledermaus,” and “Ordering of Moses,” where he sung tenor. He performed in Puccini operas across the country.

His strong music background made him the fine arts expert in the newsroom. Calloway helped organize some of Chicago’s festivals and choirs.

He is the founder of the Philharmonic Youth Choir and Oratorio Society of Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist Church. The music lover organized the Black Aesthetic Festival, which is known  today, as the Black Creativity.  Calloway stayed busy. He was even a soloist with the Artist Circle and the Umbrian Glee Club.

His awards include the Chicago Defender’s Newsmakers Special Tribute, the Charles P. Browning Journalism Award, the Cultural Citizens Foundation for the Performing Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and the Kuumba Workshop Media Award.

When not working, Calloway hosted a radio program on WGCR-FM that featured entertainers and offered show reviews. “Artists’ Circle” came on once a week.

Details on a service are not yet available.

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