Longtime Chicago anchor, reporter dies of respiratory complications

Longtime Chicago journalist Dick Johnson has died.

Born in 1954, Johnson worked at affiliate WLS for 20 years.

He joined WMAQ, the market’s owned station, in 2002. He was a member of the station’s investigative team and also co-anchors weekend evening newscast as well as filled in throughout the week.

Johnson’s death has some connections to COVID-19, though his death is not directly from the pandemic.

According to an announcement reported by the Sun-Times, Johnson opted to leave the city for northern Michigan when the coronavirus pandemic first started because of a pre-existing respiratory issue called pulmonary fibrosis.

Over the past few days he was being treated for that respiratory condition in a Michigan hospital and died there Tuesday, June 9, 2020, according to the station’s announcement. Initial reports say his hospitalization was not related to coronavirus, however.

Back on March 19, 2020, Johnson posted on Facebook apologizing for “disappearing” from NBC 5 suddenly and explained his doctors suggested he head out of town.