CHICAGO – On November 19, Hindman Auctions will present Seeing Stars: Property from the Collection of Bill Zwecker, the former longtime entertainment and celebrity journalist. The award-winning Chicago journalist’s collection of 172 lots captures historical moments, and includes memorabilia from a wide range of genres, including film, television, theater, politics, sports and other pop culture categories. Iconic names such as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks, Robert F. Kennedy, President Richard Nixon and Lady Bird Johnson will be represented in the offering. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Beginning his journalism career in the 1980s, Zwecker is an industry veteran who has interviewed some of the most renowned celebrities across a breadth of industries. His original career inspiration came from his mother, Peg Zwecker, who was a longtime fashion editor and columnist for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Top Chicago celebrity lots include a framed signed copy of Michael Jordan’s memoir For the Love of the Game that was a gift to Zwecker for his 50th birthday. Also included in this lot, which is estimated at $500-$700, is a framed collage of Zwecker and Jordan at the annual Chicago Celebrity Softball Game in 1992. It was taken the first time Michael Jordan ever played softball, according to Jordan. However, the game was shortly before he would go on to play professional baseball.
Oprah Winfrey will also be represented in the sale through a handwritten note from Winfrey to Zwecker in 1987. Zwecker met Oprah shortly after she came to Chicago to host what was called then called AM Chicago. The note, which is estimated at $200-$300, conveys Winfrey’s gratitude to Zwecker for his support when he defended her in a column after false rumors being spread about her in the press. There will also be a grouping of limited-edition signed The Oprah Winfrey Show themed items (lot 64).
The auction offering will illustrate powerful historical moments. Among singular lots that will be offered include an original courtroom drawing of the Chicago Seven trial in 1969 by longtime courtroom artist and fellow Chicagoan Verna Sadock (lot 129). The sketch depicts everyone that was in the courtroom including Judge Julius Hoffman, and defendants Tom Hayden and Abbie Hoffman. Complementing this drawing is additional memorabilia from the making of the movie The Trial of the Chicago 7, offering bidders a strong combination of American judicial history and Hollywood history. Sadock gifted the drawing to Zwecker after he wrote an article about her, at a time when she was a courtroom artist when no photographers were allowed in courtrooms.
Cartoon art by prominent illustrators will also be among noteworthy lots. Examples include a signed Charles Schulz drawing of Snoopy, estimated at $1,000-$2,000, and a group of seven cartoons by Jack Higgins that were featured in the Chicago Sun-Times and also signed by the artist.
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