Candace Jordan: How celebrity journalist 'Candid Candace' is giving back to Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Actress, model, blogger, socialite. Candace Jordan is a non-stop swirl on the Chicago scene.

With her signature look and glamorous wardrobe, Jordan is hard to miss. But she says it's all an effort to help those who can't help themselves. The celebrity journalist is a familiar face to many Chicagoans, always shining a spotlight on non-profit organizations.

Some have described her as one of the most recognizable faces in Chicago. You name a charitable event, she's likely celebrated it. Either in her Tribune column, her blog, or on video.

"You know what amazes me is that as many as I've covered, as many as I'm aware of, I always discover something new," Jordan said.

It all started when Candace was a young high school model in downstate Dupo, Illinois.

"I was valedictorian of my class and I got a scholarship to St. Louis University and I went there for a few months," Jordan said. "I didn't like it because I'd burned myself out in high school. A girlfriend of mine said, 'Candace, they are hiring at the Playboy Club and you should go for an interview.' Well, I went for an interview and the rest is history."

History indeed. Candace would go on to become a legend at Playboy, appearing on the magazine's cover nine different times.

"It was like going out with all your friends," she recalled. "And all the opportunities that came my way after that. You know I was in 'Risky Business' with Tom Cruise. I was with Wilhelmina New York modeling. I had a billboard in Times Square. I was at Salvador Dali's house for lunch on one of my assignments. I mean it was just crazy the world that opened up for me after Playboy."

These days Candace says her greatest joy is simply spending time with her husband, Charles, and her well-travelled dog, Rooney, in their Gold Coast home - all while promoting Chicago charities and encouraging others to give.

"You don't have to have a lot of money to be philanthropic," Jordan said. "You can volunteer your time. That's as much needed as anything else. So there's a lot of ways to get involved in Chicago charities."

That's coming from a woman who's been around the world and taken the Windy City with her.

"I want to affect people in a positive manner. I want them to think this girl lived her life to the fullest, had a good time doing it, and did a good job at the same time. I mean you can't get any better than that," she said.

Jordan has received so many awards for her philanthropic work that it's hard to count them all. But she says it's the notes of appreciation from those small charities around town that actually mean the most to her.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.