Goodbye to a friend


In the fall of 2011 I joined Marshall Rosenthal and Elaine Soloway at the Hon Kee Restaurant, one of Marshall's favorites.

I met Marshall Rosenthal about two years ago. While I immediately learned he was a great source for information on Chicago past and present, I didn’t get a chance to know him well enough. I never knew the details of his storied career in Chicago journalism until I read his obituary earlier this week. I knew him as a photographer, not a writer. He was an early supporter of this blog, and his interest and comments meant a great deal to me.

Marshall went to Roosevelt High School and I attended Von Steuben High School 17 years later, but that was enough to feel we were from the same neighborhood. The Albany Park hot dogs stands he remembered from his youth were still around in mine.

My first email to Marshall was a request to use one of his photos for a blogpost. He said yes, and then said yes a second time. A blog is no fun without photographs. Not being a photographer myself, I considered myself lucky Marshall had the photos I needed for a story about hot dog stands and offered them freely. I remember thinking at the time, whatever subject I wrote about in this blog about Chicago, Marshall would have the photo.

(c) Marshall Rosenthal

As a tribute to Marshall, I am reposting two of his photographs and a comment he left on a post about photographer Gary Stochl. I was thrilled to learn I had done the impossible: I introduced him to the work of a Chicago photographer he hadn’t heard of.

Frances, Thank you very for this wonderful post. I have found everything very useful. I’ve joined the “Forgotten Chicago” Flickr group and will go through my Flickr photos to contribute to it; I’ve reserved the Stochl book at the public library, and have been delighted by your links to the Loop photos.



(c) Marshall Rosenthal

As I mentioned, I didn’t know much about Marshall’s work before he retired, so I’ll defer to others to recall his many accomplishments in Chicago journalism.

“RIP  Marshall Rosenthal,” Chicago Reader

“Around Town: Remembering Marshall Rosenthal,” Chicagoist

Obituary, Chicago Sun-Times

Obituary, Chicago Tribune

Related: As of today, you can still view Marshall’s photostream on Flickr,

6 Responses to Goodbye to a friend

  1. john sigerson January 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    R.I.P. Marshall Rosenthal. A life well lived.

  2. Frances Archer January 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    John, I feel the same way. He set the bar high.

  3. Frederick Nachman January 17, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Nice tribute to a great guy. Met him through a Flickr group and he worked with a number of my colleagues. He will be missed.

  4. Frances Archer January 17, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Thanks for stopping by. Marshall had a terrific collection of Chicago images on Flickr.

  5. Jerry Pritikin January 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    My sister used to live in Morton Grove, and we often stopped at Hot Dog Island. Their walls were covered with Marshall,Roosevelt and Von Steuben High School basketball images of the 40s…and 50s. Always interesting to stop back and see where we hailed from and who our friends and neighbors were.

  6. Frances Archer January 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Interesting. Wonder which neighborhood they came from.

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