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From The Vault Of Art Shay: The Golden Age Of The Chicago Sun-Times

By Art Shay in News on Aug 22, 2013 4:30PM

(Legendary Chicago-based photographer Art Shay has taken photos of kings, queens, celebrities and the common man in a 60-year career. This week, Art looks back at the glory days of the Chicago Sun-Times.)

All of a sudden the Chicago Sun-Times, which used to be a great newspaper, stopped delivering to me every morning.

I hadn't cancelled, I'd paid all bills and the paper's slow tumble down the financial and aesthetic hill has not generated enough friction for me to call and complain. The last letter of mine they printed complained that they used a picture of a murdered child on the front page and barely mentioned the gathering of 4,000 anti-war military veterans in the back pages.

"If it bleeds it leads" goes the sick aphorism that's a hallmark of the new print and TV journalism. Television's assembly-line blonde commentatrisses keep thrusting the bosoms that helped them get hired into our unprepared-for-sex morning faces.

As a witness to recent history I share a few 1972 snapshots from a book I did on the Sun-Times: "What Happens at a Newspaper." It got excellent reviews, especially from editor Jim Hoge and owner Marshall Field. Both men thanked me for giving them something they could hand to their kids and say, "This is what I do all day."

Published with permission.

If you can't wait until this time every Wednesday to get your Art Shay fix, please check out the photographer's blog, which is updated regularly. Art Shay's book, Chicago's Nelson Algren, is also available at Amazon.