John Madigan, a longtime Chicago newsman who worked with CBS-TV and was for many years political director at WBBM-AM radio, died on Monday in Florida of complications from a stroke, said his wife Elizabeth.
Mr. Madigan, 94, was a reporter for the Chicago American newspaper and also worked for Newsweek magazine before joining CBS, according to WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM.
He is the father of actress Amy Madigan.
Mr. Madigan passed away in Florida, after suffering a stroke 2-1/2 years ago. His mind was still active but in recent weeks his condition had been deteriorating.
Mr. Madigan started in the news business in the 1930s as a newspaper copy boy, fought in World War II and became a reporter for the Chicago American.
Among the stories Mr. Madigan covered was that of convicted killer William Heirens, who also died Monday night.
In 1952, Mr. Madigan covered the first presidential campaign that used airplanes to move around the country.
Mr. Madigan worked for Newsweek magazine in the early 1950s, then moved to television with Meet the Press and Face the Nation. After working as news director at WBBM-TV Channel 2, he was part of the team that converted WBBM-AM to an all-news station.
At WBBM-AM, Mr. Madigan became known for signing off his reports by drawing out the "S" in "78" when he said "WBBM, Newsradio SSSSSeventy-Eight."
Mr. Madigan worked at WBBM-AM for years, then retired in 1988, and became chief spokesman for the Illinois Supreme Court. He retired in 1998 at the age of 80.
He and Elizabeth spent summers in Michigan and winters in Florida. They traveled to Europe.