former arts editor and columnist at Chicago Defender, dies at 87
26, 2014) Earl Calloway, a long time arts and entertainment editor and
columnist with the Chicago Defender, died on Wednesday, August 20 at the
age of 87. He had been hospitalized for the past few weeks, but the
cause of death was not immediately given.
Born on October 4, 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama, Earl Calloway has been a
fixture in the world of journalism for more than four decades. He is
best known as both the Fine Arts Editor and a columnist for the Chicago
Daily Defender, the nation's last black daily newspaper. Calloway joined
the staff of the Defender in September 1963, after working as a writer
for the Associated Negro Press, Chicago Courier and Negro Press
"He was a great promoter of the arts, and he was a brilliant writer and
interpreter of cultural events with a particular passion for music and
culture," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson. "He was a critical observer of
the full spectrum of music, including many of the operatic singers who
did not get their popular due."
Calloway graduated from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University
and pursued special studies at Chicago State University and Governors
State University. A talented singer, he performed in operatic
productions of "Die Fledermaus," "Carmen," "Aida," "The Ordering of
Moses," and Operas of Puccini in cities across the United States.
Calloway organized the annual Black Esthetic Festival (now called Black
Creativity) held at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.
He was a co-founder of the Fine Arts Academy and was also influential in
helping to establish a musical program for the Children and Adolescent
Forum. Calloway founded the Philharmonic Youth Choir and Oratorio
Society of Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist Church and served as a soloist
with the Umbrian Glee Club and The Artist Circle.
He received numerous awards, including Kuumba Workshop Media Award,
Charles P. Browning Journalism Award and the Cultural Citizens
Foundation for the Performing Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.
Five years ago, Calloway stopped working full time but continued as a
contributing columnist at the Defender. In late 2012, health problems
forced him to retire.
Services for Earl Calloway will be held on Sunday, Aug. 31 at the Shiloh
Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 7000 S. Michigan Ave. Visitation will take
place at 1 p.m. and the funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Internment will
follow at the Lincoln National Cemetery.
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