“Her admirers too numerous to count and her influence on this city as deep and profound as that of any elected official, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lois Wille was a trailblazer of immense talent, fortitude and considerable charm.
“She worked for more than three decades as a reporter and editor for the Chicago Daily News, Sun-Times and Tribune. When she retired from the Tribune in 1991, her longtime close friend and colleague Mike Royko said, ‘Lois Wille has absolutely no weaknesses as a journalist.’
“She distinguished herself by her palpable desire to right wrongs and improve life for Chicagoans. To read her was to grasp that aim but also her intelligence, dogged reporting skills and stylish way with words.
“During these years she also found the time to write the definitive history of one of the city’s most cherished natural attributes, “Forever Open, Clear, and Free: The Struggle for Chicago’s Lakefront.” Highly praised when it came out in 1972 and again when reissued in 1991, it was called by Architectural Forum, ‘A thoroughly fascinating and well-documented narrative which draws the reader into the sights, smells and sounds of Chicago’s story.’
“Lois wrote brilliantly and insightfully about the lakefront, opening our eyes to its majestic beauty and the struggle it took to make it a great public space,” said Pulitzer Prize-winning Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin. “She was an inspiration to me and to scores of Chicago journalists. We stood on her very broad shoulders.”