Larry Lujack

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Inaugural Class

Larry Lujack   (1940-2013)

Larry Lujack was an immensely popular Chicago radio personality whose grumpiness and world-weary sarcasm was unlike anything listeners had ever heard.  He was also known by his nicknames “Superjock” and “Ol’ Uncle Lar”.

Larry Lujack was born in Quasqueton, IA.  The family move to Caldwell, ID when he was 13.  He attended Washington State University where he originally intended to major in wildlife conservation.  Mostly out of financial necessity, he began broadcasting at KCID in Caldwell in 1958 and soon changed his name, Larry Lee Blankenburg, to that of his football idol Johnny Lujack.  After working at several other radio stations, he arrived in Chicago where he broadcasted for both WLS (890 AM) and WCFL (1000 AM) from 1967-1987.

Larry Lujack was best known for his darkly humorous Animal Stories, Cheap Trashy Showbiz Report, and Klunk Letter of the Day.  Animal Stories came about because WLS was still receiving farm magazines long after the station changed to a rock format in 1960.  Lujack started reading from the magazine on the air with his sidekick Tommy Edwards-known as “Little Snot-Nose Tommy.”

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said in his autobiography that he was only influenced by Larry Lujack.  David Letterman, who grew up in Indiana, tuned in to Animal Stories every morning and that the segment inspired his “Stupid Pet Tricks” years later when he had his own show.

Larry Lujack was inducted into the Illlinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2002, the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2004, and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2008.