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Remsberg, Charles, 1936-



  • Existence: 1936    


Charles Andruss Remsberg was born in Hutchinson, Kansas on March 7, 1936, to Dr. Harmon W. Remsberg (1898-1989) and Laura (Andruss) Remsberg (1898-1982). Remsberg grew up in Hutchinson, where his father practiced osteopathic medicine. As a high school student, Remsberg attended Northwestern University’s National High School Institute, where he studied journalism. He returned to Northwestern the following year, in 1954, and entered the Medill School of Journalism where he attained both his undergraduate (1958) and graduate degrees (1959). While at Northwestern, Remsberg became the managing editor of The Daily Northwestern (1956-57), as well as editor-in-chief (1957-58). He would also return to Kansas during summers to work as a reporter for the Hutchinson News-Herald.

As managing editor and columnist for the Daily his junior year, Remsberg broke the story of Sherman Wu, a Northwestern student who was de-pledged by his fraternity for being Asian. The story drew national headlines from The New York Times and Time magazine, and it also inspired Pete Seeger’s protest folk song “The Ballad of Sherman Wu.” Remsberg became editor-in-chief of the Daily the following year.

As a graduate student at Medill, Remsberg interned with the Chicago City News Bureau, and in 1958 broke the story of the fire at Our Lady of the Angels, an elementary school building on Chicago’s West Side, that killed 92 students and three nuns. Remsberg was the first reporter on the scene of this tragedy, which was reported on internationally.

After graduation, Remsberg worked for the Chicago Sun-Times, leaving after a year to pursue what was to become a long career as a freelance writer for numerous magazines and newspapers. He wrote more than 800 articles between 1960 and 1980, specializing in nonfiction stories about major social problems. Most of his stories appeared in major publications like Esquire, Reader's Digest and The New York Times Magazine. During this time he won the Outstanding Public Service Award (1968) by the National Safety Council for an article on abuses in emergency medical care; the Sidney Hillman Award (1969) for outstanding magazine article of the year on an important social issue for one of the first investigative reports on hunger in America; the Penney-Missouri Award (1974) for excellence in women’s-interest journalism for an article on the financial and emotional impact of catastrophic illnesses; and the American Osteopathic Assn. Award (1978) for outstanding magazine article of the year for a profile of a country doctor. Toward the end of the 1970s, Remsberg’s focus changed, and he began scripting police training programs for Motorola Teleprograms Inc., working closely with actor and film producer Dennis Anderson. Remsberg and Anderson produced Survival Shooting Techniques in 1979, a training program for police, soon after which they started Calibre Press, a publishing company focused on providing in-depth training for law enforcement based initially in Evanston, Illinois. The press published its first book, Street Survival: Tactics for Armed Encounters in 1980, and it soon became a seminal work in police education and training.

Remsberg’s work in police training evolved further into seminars that were taught extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally. He wrote and published additional works to support his work in police training: The Tactical Edge: Surviving High-Risk Patrol in 1986, 10-8: A Cop’s Honest Look at Life on the Street (written anonymously by a police officer, edited and published by Remsberg) in 1994, Tactics for Criminal Patrol in 1995, and Blood Lessons in 2008.

Remsberg and Anderson sold Calibre Press in 1999, though Remsberg remained active in law enforcement education and training as editor-in-chief for Force Science News, an online newsletter for the Force Science Institute, and also wrote for PoliceOne, online police news source. In 2010 Remsberg received a Commemorative Award from the International Association of Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers, recognizing 30 years of service to law enforcement.

Remsberg’s long and distinguished career as an author and journalist earned him an induction into the Medill Hall of Achievement in 2012. Along with other Medill alumni, Remsberg is honored for the positive impact his career has had in the field of journalism.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Charles "Chuck" Remsberg Papers

Identifier: 31/6/163

The personal papers of journalist Charles “Chuck” Remsberg fill 146 boxes and 2.09 gigabytes of born-digital files and span the years 1936-2014. Comprehensively documenting Remsberg’s long journalistic career and his early life, the materials include photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, journals, memorabilia, research notes, drafts, manuscripts, clippings, audiovisual tapes, CDs, books and artifacts.

Dates: 1936-2014