Parker, who retired from the CBS station in 2016 after a 35-year career there, died Sunday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. His daughter, Claire, a Northwestern nurse, said he suffered from heart failure. He was 75.
WBBM aired a Parker tribute video Monday morning and lauded his “wicked” sense of humor and his unique ability to tell stories, which were delivered in his signature baritone voice. Parker, who was born Michael Fishel in 1943 and raised in Iowa and western Illinois, joined WBBM in 1980 after working in radio and TV in Los Angeles.
In a statement, CBS 2 Chicago vice president Jeff Harris called Parker “one of the best journalists in the business.”
“For 35 years, Chicagoland was the sole beneficiary of his craft and we are grateful for all he contributed to this station and our viewers.”
Marian said Parker moved to Chicago because he thought longtime WBBM anchor Bill Kurtis was leaving the station — although that didn’t happen for a few years.