He was an overnight companion to countless Chicagoans over the years. But, in February, following a long illness, the unique voice of the man known as "Chicago Ed" was silenced.

Chicago Ed Passes
Big Fan of Police and Fire Departments

February 4, 2009

( WGN-AM) - He was known to many WGN Radio listeners as "Chicago Ed." Talk Show host Eddie Schwartz has passed away at the age of 62.

Schwartz was a late night and overnight host from 1982 to 1992 here on WGN Radio. Whether you were ending your day, or starting it, the dark hours of overnight were made brighter by his quirky presence.

"He became a big proponet of the city of Chicago," recalls WGN's David Stewart, who worked with Schwartz at WGN and earlier at WIND. "He was known for his knowledge of Chicago trivia, Chicago historical facts and figures and places around town. He became a big proponent of the Chicago Police and Fire departments. He would always have fire people on (the air) and police people on talking about what they were up to."

Schwartz also managed to cultivate close relationships with Hollywood stars, including Bill Cosby and Jay Leno. Celebrities could often be heard chatting with Eddie on many occasions.

Along with his unique style on the air, Schwartz was also remembered for his "Good Neighbor Food Drive" each year. Listeners would drive into the city to drop off food donations for the Chicago Food Depository. After Schwartz left the station, WGN continued his vision with the Pumpkin Fest food drive for several years each October.

The Lake County coronor says Schwartz died of kidney and heart-related trouble he'd been battling for the past 10 years. Funeral arrangements are pending.