Watching parts of Chicago burn in the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., that was the event that changed the life of Norman Ross. Before that, Norman worked for Channel 7, also broadcast on WGN radio, covered classical music on the former WFMT radio station. He lived a life of privilege, studied Chinese and Russian.
But those nights in 1968 caused Norman Ross to leave broadcasting. He took a job at the financial institution that once dominated Chicago, first National Bank of Chicago, because he was promised he could use the bank's money and influence to bring white businessmen and black leaders together to improve inner-city neighborhoods.
In the 1980s, Norman turned his interest to Asia. He opened first Chicago's first office in China, but in 1986, at the age of 64, Norman decided to retire.
Retirement didn't last long. Three years later, Norman returned to broadcasting, coming back to ABC7.
Norman continued to travel the world and told stories about the interesting places he visited, the fascinating people he met and the world leaders who became his friends.
Norman retired again in 2001. His grandson and granddaughter-in-law called to tell ABC7 Norman died peacefully Friday morning. His warm, loving heart had failed at the age of 86.