Skip to main content

Medill's Eric R. Lund, Award-Winning Journalist, Dies at 90

Memorial service Saturday for respected educator known for Medill’s Lund Grants

  • Respected Medill School of Journalism, North Park College professor
  • Co-creator, director of Columbia College's journalism graduate program
  • Received Marshall Field Award for Outstanding Editorial Contribution
  • Lund Grants funded global travel for Medill students on reporting projects

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Eric R. Lund, 90, a newspaperman whose innate decency matched his journalistic acumen, died Jan. 16 of congestive heart failure in Evanston. His wife of 25 years, Grace Carlson-Lund, was at his side. 

Lund began his newspaper career as city hall reporter for the Evanston Review from 1946 to 1956. He later returned as editor from 1961 to 1966. Lund worked for The Chicago Daily News from 1957 to 1961 and again from 1966 to 1977, beginning as a reporter and winding up as assistant managing editor. In 1973, he received the Marshall Field Award for Outstanding Editorial Contribution to The Chicago Daily News.

He also was a respected teacher at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and North Park College. At Columbia College, Lund served as director of the journalism graduate program, which he helped to create. He retired in 1994.

To honor Lund’s dedicated teaching commitment to Medill, the journalism school worked with a donor to create the Lund Grants, which are global travel grants intended to help fund research and reporting projects for its students. 

"Each year, when the students who received the Lund global reporting grants would present their stories at Medill, Eric and Grace would come to campus, sit in the front row, and beam at the work the students had done on underreported stories," said Jack C. Doppelt, Al Thani Professor of Journalism at Medill. "The pride was palpable and the students could sense that they were being entrusted with a privileged opportunity to do some good in a troubled world."

Born in Chicago to Swedish immigrants, he earned a bachelor's degree from Medill in 1949 after U.S. Army service that included occupation duty in Japan.

A prominent figure for decades in Chicago's Swedish-American circles, Lund served as president of the Swedish-American History Society from 1976 to 1982. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden honored him in 1976 with a bicentennial medal, and two years later, Sweden named him Knight First Class, Royal Order of the Polar Star. In 1998, Lund received the Swedish-American Historical Society Carl Sandburg Medal, and in 2011, he received the Swedish Council of America Award of Merit. He contributed numerous articles to the Swedish-American Historical Quarterly and was editor of the Society's newsletter since 1997.

Lund’s final Daily News project, which he devised as a lark, was the Trivia Quiz. He created that feature for the Chicago Daily News Alumni Newsletter every month for 21 consecutive issues, from May 2014 to January 2016.

His first wife, Florence Johannsen Lund, a journalist and artist, died in 1989. Survivors include his second wife, Grace Carlson-Lund, and cousins in Sweden.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman Ave., in Evanston. According to his wishes, he was cremated. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Doctors Without Borders would be welcome.

Editor's Picks

Back to top