Reporter Dick Johnson a longtime NBC 5 co-anchor and reporter with a nearly 40-year career in Chicago television journalism, has died, according to his family. He was 66 years old at the time.
Dick recently co-anchored NBC 5’s weekend evening newscasts and reported for the weekday 10 p.m. news, and his welcome smile and friendly nature were as many characteristics of his personality as his long-standing talent in the news.
Reporter Dick Johnson Passes Away
According to his family, Dick had been receiving treatment for issues related to a respiratory illness at a hospital in northern Michigan for the past few days. He is survived by his wife and three grown children, as well as his newsroom family and many colleagues in the profession of journalism who learned from him.
Following 20 years as an anchor and reporter at ABC 7 Chicago, he joined NBC 5 in the fall of 2002 to co-host NBC 5 News Today from Studio 5, Chicago’s first street-side studio.
Dick garnered numerous prizes for his work, including national and regional Emmys, as well as a DuPont-Columbia Award and a Peabody Award.
Dick anchored the 5 p.m. news at KDFW-TV in Dallas, where he was also a political reporter, before moving to Chicago in 1982. He began his reporting career with WTHR-TV in Indianapolis.
Dick was on board Air Force Two with then-Vice President George H.W. Bush during President Ronald Reagan’s assassination attempt earlier in his career. He reported on the release of the Iranian hostages at West Point, Ryan White’s valiant fight against AIDS, the Ethiopian famine, the effort to create Comiskey Park and the United Center, and the fight for Chicago education reform.
Dick broke the story of the Great Loop Flood, covered boxer Mike Tyson’s rape trial, and unearthed the Chicago connection in Andrew Cunanan’s murder spree. He’s covered every type of election campaign, from the president to the mayor.
Dick has also starred in NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” as well as in the films “Barbershop 2” and “Chicago Overcoat” from 2009.
Dick worked as the news director of DePauw University’s radio station WGRE while studying political science. He was most recently chairman of DePauw University’s Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media’s Board of External Advisors.
Dick is survived by his three daughters and two grandsons, as well as his wife, Lauren.