Charles Osgood

July 31st, 2011

Charles Osgood was born in Milwaukee and raised in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He graduated from Ripon College and later studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, receiving a master of fine arts degree in photography. He began his journalism career as a reporter for City News Bureau, the legendary Chicago training ground for journalists, before going to the Chicago Tribune as a reporter in 1969. After covering town meetings and features in the south suburbs, and taking photographs to run with those stories, he transferred to the photo department, where he remained for nearly 39 years.

His assignments ranged from covering South Side murders on the midnight shift, to food and fashion in the color studio, working full-time on the Sunday Magazine, taking photographs for the Tribune Company annual report, covering “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland and the aftermath of the war in Bosnia, the economic turmoil in the Soviet Union, and Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson’s trip to China. He had his own column, Chicago Arts, consisting of a photo and caption, in the early 1990s.

In 1987, he was assigned to do photos for a story on the Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor, with Rick Kogan reporting. It was the beginning of a collaboration and friendship that has lasted decades. In 1998, when Kogan asked him if he wanted to partner in a column, Sidewalks, for which they went out and found their own stories, he couldn’t have been more delighted. He has found it fulfilling on many levels and is inspired by the hunt for stories of fascinating people and places in all corners of the city and the greater Chicago area.  The column has gone on to become two hard cover books.

Osgood left the Tribune in 2008 and continues to pursue his lifelong passion for collecting fleeting moments. He has two adult children, Via in L.A. and Zac in Chicago. He has been an adjunct professor of photojournalism at Columbia College since 1991.

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