Charles E. Hayes, who reported on suburban Chicago and real estate for over 3 decades, died Jan. 3, 2020. He was born March 13, 1931, in Evanston, IL, and graduated from Maine Township High School, where he was editor of the student newspaper. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg College in Ohio, where he was editor of the student newspaper and a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. In 1955 he received his master’s from Medill.
In 1954, while completing work on his graduate degree, Mr. Hayes was hired by Paddock Publications as a reporter for its weekly newspaper, but he rose through the ranks to become first news then editor, managing editor, executive editor, vice president and finally editor in chief. Under his leadership, the Paddock newspapers became pioneers in the emerging suburban press and grew in frequency from weekly to daily.
In 1975, Mr. Hayes joined the Chicago Tribune as editor of the Suburban Trib supplements. He also served on the editorial board and as real estate editor. In 1992, he received a SAMMY Award from the Sales and Marketing Council of Greater Chicago for his coverage of the Chicago housing industry.
“His writing was just awesome. He was a lovely, lovely writer and as his real estate editor, I appreciated him not just because he was an excellent writer who did not require much editing on my part, but because he also knew his subject matter so well and so deeply,” Sallie Gaines, a retired Tribune editor told the Tribune. “He was able to explain it clearly and in a manner that was interesting.”
After his retirement, he wrote for the Copley suburban daily newspaper. Mr. Hayes has served as president of the Chicago Headline Club (Society of Professional Journalists-Sigma Delta Chi) and the Suburban Press Club. He was a member of numerous regional and national journalism societies, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Chicago Press Club, and Suburban Press Foundation advisory council.
Hayes’ work with Chicago’s suburban latinx community also received recognition. He is the founder and past president of the Opportunity Council, Inc., an adult education program for Spanish-speaking migrant workers. Hayes received honorary membership from the League of United Latin American Citizens in recognition of his efforts on behalf of suburban Hispanics.
He is survived by his nieces, great-nephews, and his good friends.