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Jeannie Morris began her career as a writer, first with a column in the Chicago's American that appeared on the Women's page called "Football is a Woman's Game," then as a sports reporter for the Chicago Daily News. She was one of the first women in the nation to write sports for a major metropolitan daily. While continuing her column, Jeannie began creating weekly sports features for Chicago's NBC affiliate, WMAQ-TV. Along with her husband, Johnny, Jeannie moved over to Chicago's CBS affiliate WBBM-TV in 1975. During her almost three decades as a Chicago sports reporter, Jeannie was honored 11 times with Emmys, and collected numerous AP and UPI awards for "Best Sports/News Story" in Illinois while winning the national UPI award in 1980 for best sports reporting in the country for her investigative series exposing horse drugging at the racetrack. In 1987 she won the National Association of Black Journalists award for her program "Air Jordan." Jeannie also earned Emmys for spot news and children's programming, the latter for an adaptation of her book, Adventures in the Blue Beast, the story of her family's one-year camping trip in Europe and the then Soviet Union. Her bestselling book, Brian Piccolo: A Short Season, the biography of the 26-year old Chicago Bear who died of cancer in 1970, has been in print for more than 25 years. It is often remembered for the movie that followed, "Brian's Song." Since leaving local television in 1990, in addition to continuing her writing, Jeannie has produced several programs for PBS, most notably the series "Adventure Divas," created with daughter Holly Morris. In 2014 she became the first woman to receive the Ring Lardner Award for excellence in sports journalism. Jeannie has four children and seven grandchildren. She splits her time between Chicago, Seattle, and Sundance, Utah.
Praise for Jeannie Morris's book Behind the Smile: "Thrilling ... a masterful, very personal and compelling narrative which addresses issues of racism and sexism with a cast of characters and events that would rival the best episodes of TV's spectacular 'Scandal.'" --Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune "A riveting campaign-trail memoir... recounts the victorious campaign of Carol Moseley Braun--the first and only African-American woman elected to the US Senate--and her ultimate political downfall." --Michele Weldon, author of Writing to Save Your Life: How to Honor Your Story and I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman "The author crafts a compelling story that reads like a political novel and brings the details of the campaign to light... Those who enjoy behind-the-scenes political operations will find this book informative and entertaining." --Library Journal "An inside view by an award-winning journalist with unique access on how Carol Moseley Braun became a political phenomenon." --Christie Hefner, political activist "In a story that could not be told until now, award-winning journalist Jeannie Morris unravels a lingering mystery: How could the rising star of Carol Moseley Braun, first and only black woman in the US Senate, flame out so tragically in a scandal-prone tangle of love and politics? With an insider's eye, Behind the Smile revives the drama of Braun's historic win, the tragedy of her fall, and the hazards of mixing love with politics." --Clarence Page, Pulitzer Prize--winning Chicago Tribune columnist "This sympathetic but critical book recalls the inspiring effect of Braun's story... [A] gripping, fast-paced story." --Publishers Weekly "Just in time for the new political season ... an inside recounting of Moseley Braun's meteoric rise--and fall--from the national political scene... The book details not only Moseley Braun's triumphant Senate run, but the personal relationship with her campaign manager that led to her political undoing." --Michael Ruscoe, BookTrib "The account of [Carol Moseley Braun's] 1992 campaign as described by Jeannie Morris in Behind the Smile is riveting." --Natalie Black, Newcity "Morris brings the social and political impact of Moseley Braun's story--from her meteoric rise to her eventual downfall--into clear focus." --Chicago Book Review "A close-up look at the senatorial campaign of a trailblazing black female politician." --Kirkus Reviews