Alex Dreier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alex Dreier
Alex Dreier WBKB primary coverage 1964.JPG
Born Alexander M. Dreier
June 26, 1916
Honolulu, Hawaii
Died March 11, 2000 (age 83)
Rancho Mirage, California
Nationality US
Other names "The Voice"
Occupation broadcaster, actor
Known for his booming vocal delivery
Spouse(s) Geraldine Izatt Hogan Penrith
Awards 7 Emmys

Alex Dreier (June 26, 1916–March 11, 2000[1]) was an American news reporter and commentator who worked with NBC Radio during the 1940s, and later with the ABC Information Radio network in the 1960s and early '70s. Dreier then became an actor and appeared in a number of TV series and films.

Early years[edit]

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dreier attended Stanford University, graduating in 1939.[2] He then went into journalism, and was covering Berlin for United Press when he joined NBC in 1941. During his year in Berlin he was under surveillance by the Gestapo, and he left the city one day before the Pearl Harbor attack.

His commentary aired on NBC on Saturdays from 1942 to 1945 and weekdays from 1951 to 1956. Known as Chicago's "Man on the Go," Dreier was the city's top TV anchor during his years on NBC-owned WNBQ-TV, serving as a news reporter and anchor. He also handled news for NBC-TV's Today on the Farm from 1960-61. He was replaced as WNBQ anchor by Floyd Kalber in 1962; he then moved to ABC owned-and-operated WBKB-TV.

From 1959 to 1964, Dreier also co-hosted the television program Championship Bridge with Charles Goren. These can still be seen on the Arts Channel of TV4U.com.

Dreier showed courage at a time of racial tension on Chicago's South Side, when major streets served as defacto racial dividing lines. If a black family dared move even one block across one of these lines, the neighborhood would react as though it were under siege (in part because they knew real estate agents would quickly move in to "change" the entire neighborhood, resulting in a considerable drop in area home prices. The longer one waited to sell, the less one would get for one’s house).

One night, Dreier began the most memorable broadcast of his career with words like, "The streets of one South Side Chicago neighborhood are quiet tonight, because of the decision of one black family" (not to move in after all). Dreier then blasted the white demonstrators who gathered around the black family's house. Pressure was put on his sponsor, Meister Brau Beer, which was thereafter removed from many white neighborhood taverns and liquor stores in the area. The white backlash against this broadcast probably ended Dreier's career as a news anchorman in Chicago.

Later years[edit]

(left to right) Alex Dreier, Bob Hope, Anne T. Hill, Geraldine Dreier, Roy W. Hill at a fund raiser for Eisenhower Medical Center ca 1975

Dreier moved to California in 1967, where he worked in Los Angeles for KTTV and also began a career as an actor in many films (including Chandler and The Carey Treatment) and TV shows (Mannix, Kojak, Land of the Giants, Hart to Hart, Love, American Style) between 1968 and 1979. He served as chairman of the board for the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences and as a board member of the Eisenhower Medical Center. In 1989, he was inducted into the Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame.[2]

Philanthropy[edit]

Dreier served on the boards of trustees of institutions including Shimer College[3] and the Eisenhower Medical Center.[4]

Death[edit]

Dreier died in Rancho Mirage, California, from heart failure.[5] He is buried in Desert Memorial Park[1] in Cathedral City, California.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Palm Springs Cemetery District, "Interments of Interest"
  2. ^ a b Alexander Dreier, 83, Broadcast Journalist Who Won 7 Emmys. New York Times. March 16, 2000 [1]
  3. ^ "Board of Trustees". Shimer College Record 52 (4). December 1960. 
  4. ^ James Janega (2000-03-15). "Alex Dreier, Broadcasting Pioneer". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  5. ^ Alex Dreier on the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]