Funeral Details - Chicago Jewish Funerals

Funeral Details


Funeral Details

Jack Rosenberg


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Memorial Contributions

Swedish Hospital for the Mayora Rosenberg Women's Health Center
Swedish Hospital Foundation
5145 North California Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625


Jack Rosenberg, 94, of Lincolnwood, IL, died Saturday, December 26, 2020 at Swedish Hospital, Chicago.

Born May 21, 1926 in Pekin, Illinois, he was the son of the late Mollie nee Levey and the late Sam Rosenberg.

He attended Pekin Community High School, where he was the only Jewish student and was elected student council president. He began his media career at age 16 when he applied to the Pekin Daily Times, where publisher F.F. McNaughton had heard about the election. He worked his way up, and Mr. McNaughton soon contended Jack was the youngest sports editor of a daily newspaper in America.

He enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and left for boot camp within weeks of his high school graduation in 1944.

After returning from World War II in 1946, he took college classes and resumed his newspaper career in Pekin. Mr. McNaughton bought Jack his first typewriter - a Royal Standard that he used and treasured throughout his life.

Jack eventually became a sportswriter for the Peoria Journal, where he won top NCAA awards in 1950 and 1952 for best college baseball reporting.

His dream job since the 5th grade was to cover sports for the Chicago Tribune. When he ultimately was offered the job, he reluctantly turned it down because the $100-a-week salary wasn't enough for him to also support his widowed mother. The sports editor told him everyone starts at $100 a week though he promised to look for a work-around in the coming months.

In the meantime, another opportunity arose – this time with the broadcasting branch of Tribune Company – an offer from announcer Jack Brickhouse to work with him at WGN Television and Radio – at $85 a week. Timing is everything - and Jack decided to take the job in January 1954, producing and writing as part of one of the greatest sports departments ever.

As Sports Editor at WGN, he covered the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Big Ten, and other teams with many of the greats, on-air and behind the scenes.

The clack of "Rosey's" portable typewriter in the background during Cubs broadcasts was part of the soundtrack of summer. He would hang around dugouts, clubhouses, and the front office before games, gathering anecdotes to feed to the announcers throughout the broadcast. He traveled to spring training in Arizona to produce an annual show on the Cubs' prospects. During football season, he covered the Big Ten Game of the Week on Saturdays and the Bears on Sundays.

He met his beloved Mayora Gitlitz in late 1955, proposing within four months and asking if she wanted the ceremony before or after the baseball season. They married on February 5, 1956, a union that lasted 51 years before her death in 2007. They were devoted parents to their children, David and Beth, and delighted grandparents to their six grandchildren.

He loved to share his wisdom with family, whether tips on good writing, how to treat people, or the importance of thanking a favorite teacher. Jack also mentored many in the media or those pondering a life decision, doing his best to support and encourage them.

His long career encompassed a Who's Who of sports and national figures and sweeping changes in broadcasting. In 1962, Jack was part of the WGN team bringing the first trans-Atlantic telecast to Europe – the early moments of a Cubs-Phillies game.

He arranged interviews with Presidents John F. Kennedy in 1961 and Ronald Reagan in 1981, traveling to the White House with Jack Brickhouse for the latter interview to talk baseball. He and Vince Lloyd were tapped in the 1980s to expand Tribune Radio Networks.

One of his biggest career highlights was writing Jack Brickhouse's speech for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on July 31, 1983 as a recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting. The entire speech was three minutes and included the memorable line: "In the fantasy of my dreams, I have imagined myself as the announcer of a Cubs-White Sox World Series, a Series that would last 7 games, with the final game going into extra innings before being suspended because of darkness at Wrigley Field." He concluded with: "Here on this memorable afternoon in Cooperstown, my heart tells me I have traveled the ninety feet from third base to home and scored standing up."

In 1986, he co-authored Thanks for Listening!, a look at Jack Brickhouse's 50 years in broadcasting. He retired in 1999 after 45 years at WGN.

He was involved for many years with the Jack Quinlan golf tournament to raise money for the Chicago Boys and Girls Clubs. He received the B'nai B'rith Centennial Hall of Fame Award for Community Service in 1968.

A Silver Circle Inductee in the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chicago in 2011, he received the Broadcast Pioneer Award from the Illinois Broadcasters Association in 2012. His name was added to the WGN Radio Walk of Fame in 2017.

He served on the Faculty Board of Directors at Swedish Covenant Hospital, where he received the hospital's Spirit of Compassion Award in 2012. He also assisted in raising funds to create the Mayora Rosenberg Women's Health Center in 2014 at what is now Swedish Hospital.

Accompanied by his son, David, he was thrilled to travel to Washington on Honor Flight Chicago in 2015. And with his children and grandchildren among the thousands of fans, he was honored to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field in 2007. He was a member of Temple Beth-El in Northbrook for nearly 60 years.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Leonard Rosenberg, and sister, Rosella Shapiro.

Survivors include his son, David (Cindy) Rosenberg of Buffalo Grove, IL; daughter, Beth (Dan) Zweig of Fort Wayne, IN; grandchildren, Abby, Carly, and Jaclyn Rosenberg, and Molly, Laura, and Ethan Zweig; and sister-in-law, Ann (the late Leonard) Rosenberg of Peoria, IL.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Swedish Hospital for the Mayora Rosenberg Women's Health Center or through the Swedish Hospital Foundation, 5145 N. California Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60625.To keep everyone safe and healthy, the interment service will be private.

To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website.

Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,


We encourage you to share your personal
condolences and stories of Jack Rosenberg below and
we will share them with the family.

Bob and Any Ruer

Our deepest condolences on your loss. But we will not forget the fondest memories he instilled in our lives and for that we celebrate his life.

Ellyn Roiter

My mother Rose Rosenberg Rubenstein was Jack's first cousin. She was older and babysat for him in Pekin. She was close to his sister Rosella, and would see her when in Illinois. Jack and Mayora invited us to dinner. We also attended a wedding of one of their children.

Scott Shapiro

Godspeed Uncle Jack....because of you our world was a better place. You helped anyone that you were in contact with to grow and excel to overcome whatever life challenges where presented in their lifes...Thank You

Luba Adler

This has been a sad week . I have known Jack , his late wife and the family for many years. We have shared many happy (and some sad) moments together.
He was a great teacher to me about life . He will be remembered not only for his incredible professional history with the Tribune corporation, but to those of us who have had the privilege of being with him up-close, and witness his honest love for his fellow man. Jack treated everyone he met regardless of their background with utmost respect . Every time we met , Jack always expressed his love for his family ie his late wife Mayora, his children David and Beth and his grand children. He was extremely proud of their accomplishments. He took pride in serving the US Navy and was happy and grateful to people that came up to him that acknowledged and thanked him for his service.
I will remember Jack for his kindness, his good heart , our get togethers and for his genuine friendship.. He will be missed and always have a special place in my heart.
To David, Beth and the grand children please accept my deepest and heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your beloved father and grand father.

Dr. Martin Szanto

This past week we have all lost a great friend. Jack represented the best virtues of Judaism and small-town America. He had unlimited love for this country and all the people. For the many years that I have known him and his wonderful family, I was always impressed by how generous he was with his kindness and warmth to all those with who he would come into contact.. All of us at Swedish Covenant Hospital will never forget how hard he worked to help us better serve our patients. As a Chicago sports fan ( especially of the CUBs ) since I was a kid, he will always be in my memory. I will always feel greatly honored to have had the privilege of having served Jack and his family. May we never forget Jack and his wonderful history.

Tom Shaer

Please allow me to extend my sincere sympathy to Jack's wonderful family. They were everything to him, and he modeled how to work with celebrities but to remain grounded and devoted to Mayora, David, Beth.
Jack was, literally, the first person to welcome me to Chicago when I moved here to work at WGN in 1983. He invited me to his home numerous times as I adjusted to a new life. Jack was a friend, mentor, counselor, critic (he improved my writing tremendously) and cheerleader. The later-years phase of our friendship was even more special as we had lunches, phone conversations and exchanged letters the old-fashioned way. I loved the man, shall miss him and I thank his family for sharing him.
Sincerely, Tom Shaer (Chicago, IL)
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