Groundbreaking journalist Jeannie Morris dies at age 85

CHICAGO (AP) — Jeannie Morris, a groundbreaking sports journalist who became the first woman to report live from a Super Bowl in 1975, has died. She was 85.

Morris passed away Monday at her condominium in Chicago. She had been undergoing treatment for appendiceal cancer.

“My mom had a stack of accomplishments. She woke up every morning curious, grateful and spring-loaded to say, ‘Yes,’” her daughter, Holly, told the Chicago Tribune. “That inspires me the most. The levity and bravery she brought to the last weeks of her life was a master class in dignity.”

Morris, a Redondo Beach, Calif., native, won multiple Emmy Awards during a long career in TV. In 2014, she became the first woman to receive the Ring Lardner award for excellence in sports journalism.

Morris was married to former Bears flanker Johnny Morris when she started writing a column for the Chicago American. An editor at the now-defunct newspaper first offered the column to Johnny Morris, but he declined and suggested his wife for the opportunity.

Jeannie Morris’ column, “Football Is a Woman’s Game,” ran on the “women’s pages” of the paper. Eventually the column moved to the sports section and then to The Chicago Daily News.

“Athletes generally are closer to their mothers,” she once told the Sun-Times. “They’ll tell me things they’d never dream of telling a man.”

Jeannie and Johnny divorced in 1985, but still worked together at a Chicago TV station after they separated.

Jeannie Morris also wrote biographies of former Bears running back Brian Piccolo and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, and a book about her family’s camping trip through Europe and Russia.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

NFL News | Sports

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up