Irv Kupcinet Memorial, 2005
Northeast corner of East Wacker Drive at North Wabash Street
On what would have been Kupcinet's 94th birthday, friends and family gathered for the unveiling and dedication of a 9-foot-tall bronze statue of his likeness. The statue was commissioned by the late writer's family, including son Jerry Kupcinet, probably best-known as the director of Judith Scheindlin's "Judge Judy." It is part of the City of Chicago Public Art Collection.
"Kup" as he was known, had his pro football career cut short due to a shoulder injury. He began as a sports writer in 1935 for the Chicago Daily Times (today known as the Chicago Sun-Times). Eight years later, the newspaper launched “Kup's Column,” which became a record-breaking 60-year column that at one point was syndicated to 100 newspapers. He also became a radio personality and television talk-show host.
The statue depicts him holding a Sun-Times final edition under his right arm as he gestures across the river to the location of the previous home to newspaper. The building was demolished and now the Trump Tower now stands on the site.
During his career, Kupcinet was the “person to know” in Chicago and, in turn, he associated with A-listers, politicians, royalty, tycoons, and Hollywood celebrities while also remaining friendly with Chicagoans on the street. Artist Preston Jackson's other works include a life-size bronze sculpture of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in Peoria and a Martin Luther King memorial bust in Danville, Illinois.