Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

“TRUE LOVE”: WARD QUAAL TALKS
ABOUT PRESIDENT REAGAN

We spoke with Ward Quaal, the legendary Chicago
broadcaster, on June 10, 2004, just a few days after the
passing of President Ronald Reagan, whom Quaal had
served as an advisor and friend.

WILLIAM O’SHAUGHNESSY (W.O.): The flags are at half-staff all over the nation on this warm day because we have lost a president. And, it appears, a great one. Let’s go to Chicago, Illinois— the great Midwest, the heartland—to talk with a man who was an advisor to President Ronald Wilson Reagan, and also to Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon.

His name is Ward Quaal. Mr. Quaal ran the legendary WGN, one of the mighty radio stations of this nation, for many years. He’s now an advisor to the powerful Tribune Company, which owns a lot of newspapers and television stations.

Ward Quaal, it seems like a lot of people really loved Ronald Reagan.

WARD QUAAL (W.Q.): A lot of people did love him, Bill. And the outpouring of support from coast to coast is just tremendous, even more enormous, I believe, than his dear Nancy anticipated. He was an outstanding American in every way.

I actually got to know him years ago, when I was a very young announcer. And, of course, later on, when I had Tribune Radio and Television and helped the growth of the company go beyond Chicago, was a time when I saw quite a bit of Ronald Reagan because he was inWashington at the time serving as one of our great presidents. We also saw one another on other matters, on a more personal basis, in Chicago and Washington and on the West Coast.

W.O.: I hope I’m not violating any confidences, but I’ve seen handwritten notes from President Reagan to you, Ward Quaal. He was a pretty nice man.

W.Q.: He was a wonderful man and a person you could trust. And if he was your friend, then he was really your friend. He was a

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