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Ann Gerber Photograph Collection

Identifier: spe-c00008

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of photograph used to illustrate Gerber’s society column in Skyline in addition to some biographical files and promotional materials associated with the cookbooks she compiled.


  • Creation: circa 1970s-2016, undated

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

Ann Gerber (1926-2016) began her 65-year writing career while attending Senn High School on Chicago’s North Side. She graduated from Wright Junior College and later attended Mundelein and Northwestern Universities, but did not take a degree. By 1950, she was routinely writing the gossip column for Lerner Newspapers, one of the most successful weekly and semi-weekly newspaper chains in the country. When Lerner launched the news weekly, Skyline, in 1960, Gerber became the society gossip columnist that covered the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Loop, and Near North neighborhoods of Chicago. A fixture on Chicago’s society and celebrity circuit, Gerber eventually became the Skyline’s editor and one of the longest running newspaper columnists in the country. In 1987, Gerber left Skyline to join the Chicago Sun-Times, but returned in 1989 after being fired when a thinly veiled gossip item in her column resulted in retractions and outrage from a high-profile celebrity. She remained at Skyline until 2012. She is noted for her commitment to promoting charitable events. In 2013, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Journalists Association.

Gerber is also the author of two cookbooks.


2 Linear Feet (in 7 boxes, includes 1604 photographs)

Language of Materials



Chicago journalist, Ann Gerber, began writing for Lerner Newspapers in 1950 and eventually became the society gossip columnist and editor for their weekly publication, Skyline. The photographs in her collection were used to illustrate her society column. The images feature scenes from Chicago social events such as award ceremonies, charitable occasions and opening nights as well as portraits of athletes, artistic directors, award winners, debutantes, business leaders, entertainers, journalists, local celebrities, philanthropists, politicians, and other newsmakers.


The collection is arranged into two series: Series 1: Documents, circa 1984, 2016 and Series 2: Photographs, circa 1970s-2013, undated.

Physical Location

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least 24-hours prior to your research visit to coordinate access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Ann Gerber in 2013.

Related Materials

Back of the Yards Newspaper Collection

Skyline [Newspaper], Chicago: Lerner Communications, Inc. (available from Chicago Public Library’s Newspaper Collection)

Stanley Paul Papers

Separated Materials

Gerber Ann. Chicago’s Classiest Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the Kitchens of the 100 Most Important Chicagoans, Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1983. Call number: TX 715 G383 1983

Gerber, Ann. Chicago’s Sweet Tooth: Five Hundred Prominent Chicagoans Divulge Their Favorite Dessert Recipes, Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1985. Call number: TX 773 G38 1985

Guide to the Ann Gerber Photograph Collection
Processed by Michelle McCoy in 2016. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875