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Investigative journalist William Gaines passed away with Parkinson disease

MEDIA

22-07-2016

American journalist Professor William C. Gaines died on July 20, 2016, at the age of 82 from Parkinson's disease in hospice care in Munster.

Born in Indianapolis, William Gaines obtained a bachelor's degree in broadcasting from Butler University in 1956. During two years he worked at the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service in Germany.

William Gaines joined the Chicago Tribune in 1963 and was appointed as an investigative reporter one year later. There, he worked for some 38 years and climbed the ladder rapidly to become the Chicago Tribune’s most decorated journalist including winning two Pulitzer Prizes. William Gaines and his team exposed disgusting conditions at two private Chicago hospitals to grab one Pulitzer in 1976.

In 2001, he announced his retirement from the Chicago Tribune and started lecturing at the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. William Gaines investigated, with a group of students, about the identity of the unidentified source known only as ‘‘Deep Throat,’’ who revealed secrets about President Richard Nixon’s Watergate cover-up to The Washington Post. They pointed out that (erroneously) he was Fred Fielding once a deputy White House counsel. After six years, he retired with the honorific title of emeritus faculty member of the University. His textbook "Investigative Reporting for Print and Broadcast," is widely used in journalism programs at Universities since 1994.

Everywhere he worked, his colleagues, especially in the press, recalled his flair to deal with big government documents and his modesty. “In difficult situations, he was humorous”, they said. For the past 15 years, he was battling the Parkinson disease.

According to his daughter Michelle, William Gaines is survived by his wife, Nellie, sons Michael and Matthew, and six grandsons. A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 24 at Smits Funeral Homes in Dyer.

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