Fred Eychaner

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Fred Eychaner
Born 1945 (age 69–70)
DeKalb, Illinois
Nationality United States
Occupation businessman
Known for Chairman of Newsweb Corporation
Religion Methodist
Parents Mildred and Howard Eychaner
Relatives Rich Eychaner (brother)

Fred Eychaner (born c. 1945) is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist.[1][2]

Eychaner is the Chairman of Newsweb Corporation.[3][4] He was included in Chicago magazine's 2014 list of the 100 most powerful Chicagoans.[5] In 2005, the Chicago Tribune estimated his wealth at $500 million.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Eychaner was born to a middle-class Methodist family in DeKalb, Illinois, the son of Mildred and Howard Eychaner.[1][6] His father owned a moving and storage business.[7] He has three siblings, including Iowa businessman Rich Eychaner.[1][8] He attended the Medill School of Journalism.[1]

Business interests[edit]

He founded Newsweb Corporation in 1971, which prints a wide variety of newspapers.[1] A series of transactions led to his ownership of WPWR-Channel 50 in Chicago. In 2002, WPWR was sold to Fox Television for a reported $425 million.[1] He launched WCPT-AM, Chicago's Progressive Talk Radio station in May 2005.[1]


He is President of the charitable organization Alphawood Foundation which granted the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London £20m in 2013.[9] Eychaner has given the Clinton Foundation between $10 million and $25 million.[10] He is also credited with getting the long-delayed FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York finally constructed.[11]

In November 2013, Alphawood announced a $2 million matching grant to help jumpstart construction of the Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago.[12]

Political activities[edit]

He has been a top Democratic donor for several cycles and in the 2012 election cycle was the top donor to Democratic Super PACs, giving more than $14 million.[1][13]


He serves on the board of the Joffrey Ballet,[14] and of the Art Institute of Chicago.[15] He is also a trustee of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.[16]

In September 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Eychaner a General Trustee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i McCormick, John (June 7, 2005). "Fred Eychaner". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Armstrong, David (September 30, 2002). "A Long Strange Trip". Forbes. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Herrnson, Paul S; Deering, Christopher J; Wilcox, Clyde (2012-08-10). Interest Groups Unleashed. CQ Press. pp. 160–. ISBN 9781452203782. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Gross, Theodore L. (2005-01-01). The Rise Of Roosevelt University: Presidential Reflections. SIU Press. pp. 143–. ISBN 9780809389711. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Fred Eychaner - Chicago magazine". Chicago magazine. March 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Passages: Howard Franklin Eychaner". Windy City Times. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  7. ^ National Journal: "Meet Fred Eychaner, the Most Mysterious Figure in Democratic Party Politics - Tracking down Fred Eychaner, one of the most reclusive—and powerful—donors in Democratic politics, was no easy task" by Daniel Libit May 8, 2014
  8. ^ Forman, Ross (February 24, 2010). "Baseball history includes gay owner of minor league Cubs franchise". Windy City Times. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "SOAS given £20m donation from Alphawood foundation". BBC News. November 2, 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "William J. Clinton Foundation releases donor list; Gates, Chicago's Fred Eychaner major givers". Chicago Sun-Times. January 1, 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "LEADERS Interview with Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, Chairman, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park". LEADERS magazine. April 2, 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Newsweb Corp.'s Fred Eychaner steps up for Bloomingdale Trail". Crain's Chicago Business. November 20, 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Schouten, Fredreka (October 29, 2012). "Handful of megadonors dominate campaign money chase". USA Today. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "The Joffrey Ballet Board of Directors". The Joffrey Ballet. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Art Institute of Chicago Board of Trustees". Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "Asian Art Museum Board and Commission". Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Sweet, Lynn. "Obama taps Penny Pritzker, Fred Eychaner as Kennedy Center trustees". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 6 June 2014.