Malcolm Keith Bellairs III
November 9, 1919 — July 12, 2010
Mal Bellairs grew up “out west” in Wyoming and Colorado. He fell in love with Chicago and then with Jo Morrissy. They married in a rush because he enlisted in the Army on December 8, 1941.
After the war Mal and Jo returned to Chicago. He got a job with WCFL and learned the craft of radio. He tried TV in its early days and preferred the intimacy of radio. After doing some freelance work in radio and TV he got a job with WBBM, the CBS affiliate 50,000 watt clear channel station in Chicago. For a while in the 50’s and 60’s he worked 7 days a week. He felt an intimate connection with his audience and worked that much because he enjoyed it. Also, he and Jo were up to 7 kids and the money was good.
In his book he tells this and the rest up to 1997.Those years included the too early loss of Jo, the successful marriage of their later years with Maria Henslee, and his love affair with a gray stone house in Ireland.
By the time he was 80 he was well and truly retired. Health issues made his final years uncomfortable. He was sorry, I think, to outlive so many of his friends. Friends and family were the keystone of his life.
He was recovering from an illness in hospital on the 4th of July in 2010, took a turn for the worse and died on July 12. He was 90 and had been prepared for a long time. His family and fans continue to miss him.