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Lefley, Robert, 1927-



  • Existence: 1927    


Robert (Bob) Herman Lefley was born March 20, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Irving Phillip Lefley and Augusta (Fox) Lefley. Lefley grew up in Chicago, Illinois, attending Joyce Kilmer Grade School and Lane Technical High School.

After high school, Lefley enlisted in the United States Army on July 6, 1945. During his military service, he worked as an athletic instructor and a clerk typist. Lefley also appeared on a radio program, one of two voice actors on the program Divisional Diary, broadcast over the Mutual Broadcasting System from North Post Fort Myer, Virginia. Lefley held the rank of corporal upon his discharge from the Army in 1946.

When he returned home to Chicago, Lefley attended Loyola University of Chicago for one semester and for summer school in 1947. He also attended Roosevelt College, Chicago, Illinois, in 1948.

Lefley next enrolled at Northwestern University, initially in the school’s College of Liberal Arts but soon thereafter transferred into Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. He spent two years at Northwestern before taking his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism degree in 1950. Lefley then completed graduate studies at Medill, receiving his Master of Arts in Journalism degree in 1951. During his years at Northwestern, Lefley participated in a number of student activities: he was a member of the Dolphin Club in spring, 1949; served as a member of the editorial board of The Daily Northwestern in 1949-1950; and accepted membership in Sigma Delta Chi, the national professional journalism fraternity in January, 1950.

After completing his formal education, Lefley worked as a reporter and picture story producer for LOOK and Quick magazines from 1951 to 1952. He later worked as the editorial director for Chicago radio station WFMT-FM from 1954 to 1961. Lefley served as managing editor of WFMT Perspective (later titled Perspective on Ideas and the Arts), the station’s magazine, from 1961 to 1963. Originally titled WFMT Reports, then WFMT Program Guide, and WFMT Fine Arts Guide, Perspective ultimately evolved into Chicago magazine.

In 1964, Lefley became the manager of press relations for Northwestern University, a position he held until 1969. He then worked, from 1971 to 1980, as director of information for the Chicago Housing Authority. After, he served as the editor for Inland Now, journal of Inland Steel Industries from 1981 until 1990. Lefley also acted as assistant manager of media and public relations for Inland Steel Industries, a position he held until his retirement in 1993.

Lefley married Doris Lucille Ballinger on January 18, 1959. The couple had two children, Joshua Phillip and Janet Laura.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Robert H. Lefley (1927- ) Collection

Identifier: 31/6/172

Robert Lefley received Bachelor of Arts (1950) and Master of Arts (1951) degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. He held positions with WFMT-FM, Northwestern University, the Chicago Housing Authority, and Inland Steel Industries. The Robert Lefley papers are contained in twenty-six boxes. Spanning the years from 1936 to 2015, the bulk of the collection dates from the 1950s through the 1980s; it largely reflects Lefley’s work with Chicago-area print and broadcast media.

Dates: 1936 - 2015