The Society for Advancing Business Reporting and Editing reports that past president William “Bill” Barnhart passed away over the July 4 weekend.
Barnhart was with the Chicago Tribune for 26 years. He began his career in journalism in 1970 as a police reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago wire service. Later, Barnhart covered state and local politics in Springfield and the Chicago suburbs. In addition to the Tribune, he worked as a business writer for the former Chicago Daily News and Chicago Sun-Times.
Barnhart joined the Tribune since 1979. His daily column offered news and commentary on the stock, bond and currency markets. In 1997, he began a column in the Sunday Tribune business section focusing on mutual fund investing. In addition, he aired a daily financial market report on Tribune Co.’s Chicago area cable television channel, CLTV
He has co-authored two books with former state legislator Gene Schlickman, the first on former Illinois governor Otto Kerner, who served from 1961 to 1968, the second on the legal career of Justice John Paul Stevens.
“Bill Barnhart was solid as a rock, giving a gravitas to business journalism that inspired those who hoped to follow in his footsteps,” said SABEW board member Andrew Leckey. “On the job, he dressed like a statesman and was intensely professional in his reporting. He possessed incredibly deep background on all he covered and could detect irony and facts others missed. Love and knowledge of business reporting made him a dedicated SABEW president. In observing Bill at two Chicago dailies where he and I both worked, he was an unswerving role model for serious business journalism, but a personable fellow with quick smile and hearty laugh as well.”
SABEW sends its condolences to Barhart’s family, journalism colleagues, and many friends inside and outside the industry. He was SABEW president in 2001.