On November 19, Hindman Auction will present Seeing Stars: Property from the Collection of Bill Zwecker, the former longtime entertainment and celebrity journalist.
The award-winning Chicago journalist’s collection of 172 lots captures historical moments, and includes memorabilia from a wide range of genres, including film, television, theater, politics, sports and other pop culture categories. Iconic names such as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks, Robert F. Kennedy, President Richard Nixon and Lady Bird Johnson will be represented in the offering.
Beginning his journalism career in the 1980s, Zwecker is an industry veteran who has interviewed some of the most renowned celebrities across a breadth of industries. His original career inspiration came from his mother, Peg Zwecker, who was a longtime fashion editor and columnist for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Top Lots – Chicago Celebrities
Top Chicago celebrity lots include a framed signed copy of Michael Jordan’s memoir For the Love of the Game (lot 90) that was a gift to Zwecker for his 50th birthday. Also included in this lot is a framed collage of Zwecker and Jordan at the annual Chicago Celebrity Softball Game in 1992. It was taken the first time Michael Jordan ever played softball, according to Jordan. However, the game was shortly before he would go on to play professional baseball.
Oprah Winfrey will also be represented in the auction through a handwritten note from Winfrey to Zwecker in 1987 (lot 166). Zwecker met Oprah shortly after she came to Chicago to host what was called then called AM Chicago. The note conveys Winfrey’s gratitude to Zwecker for his support when he defended her in a column after false rumors being spread about her in the press. There will also be a grouping of limited-edition signed The Oprah Winfrey Show themed items (lot 64).
Additional Highlights & Historical Moments
The auction offering will illustrate powerful historical moments. Among singular lots that will be offered include an original courtroom drawing of the Chicago 7 trial in 1969 by longtime courtroom artist and fellow Chicagoan Verna Sadock (lot 129). The sketch depicts everyone that was in the courtroom including Judge Julius Hoffman, and defendants Tom Hayden and Abbie Hoffman. Complementing this drawing is additional memorabilia from the making of the movie The Trial of the Chicago 7, offering bidders a strong combination of American judicial history and Hollywood history. Sadock gifted the drawing to Zwecker after he wrote an article about her, at a time when she was a courtroom artist when no photographers were allowed in courtrooms.
Cartoon art by prominent illustrators will also be among noteworthy lots. Examples include a Charles Schulz drawing of “Snoopy” from “The Peanuts,” signed by Schulz (lot 144) and a group of seven cartoons by Jack Higgins that were featured in the Chicago Sun-Times and also signed by the artist (lot 62).
Key political lots include a group of approximately 34 political campaign buttons from the second half of the 20th century (lot 128); a group of approximately 20 items relating to Barack Obama and the 2008 Presidential Election (lot 121); a signed photograph of Lady Bird Johnson and Zwecker’s mother Peg Zwecker (lot 169); and a group of Presidential Medallions from the Nixon Presidency (lot 122). A personal, hand-signed letter from former President Richard M. Nixon regarding his wife, Pat Nixon’s health to Zwecker’s mother is another poignant offering.
Hollywood memorabilia includes numerous remarkable movie titles. For example, Zwecker went to London for nearly all the Harry Potter movies. Daniel Radcliffe signed a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (lot 47), which will be offered. Zwecker met the actors before they knew they would become international celebrities.
Additional information about the auction can be found via the catalogue and sale page.
How to Bid in the Auction
Live online bidding for the November 19th auction will begin at 10am CT on the Digital Bid Room, which can be accessed through HindmanAuctions.com.
More About Bill Zwecker
Bill Zwecker is a former longtime entertainment and celebrity journalist who served as a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and an entertainment anchor at FOX Chicago. Beginning his journalism career in the 1980s, Zwecker is an industry veteran who has interviewed some of the most distinguished names from the worlds of film, TV, theater, music, politics and other pop culture arenas — from Oprah Winfrey to Michael Jordan. In pursuing a career covering celebrities, Zwecker regularly traveled to Hollywood, New York and London. His original career inspiration came from his mother, Peg Zwecker, who was a longtime fashion editor and columnist for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Zwecker has received three Emmy Nominations for his work, among other awards. Prior to his roles at the Sun-Times and FOX, Zwecker was an associate editor and columnist for Lerner Newspapers and an entertainment reporter for NBC and CBS in Chicago. He has contributed to numerous national news and entertainment programs, such as Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Showbiz Tonight, Extra, Today Show, the CBS Nightly News, Biography on A&E and Larry King Live. Zwecker has served on the boards of Roosevelt University, Chicago’s Off the Street Club, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The AIDS Foundation of Chicago, The Chicago Academy for the Arts, and was a co-founder of the Auxiliary Board of the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Chicago native grew up in Oak Park and River Forest and graduated cum laude with History and American Studies degrees from Princeton University.