The Chicago Division has selected Mr. Bill Kurtis to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.
Mr. Kurtis is the executive producer and president of Kurtis Productions, which is headquartered in Chicago. He was nominated for his continued support of law enforcement and his promotion of the FBI through his many documentary shows and series, which have aired on a number of television networks during the past decade.
Mr. Kurtis, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary in the field of broadcasting, is an acclaimed documentary host, producer, and both a network and major market news anchor. Over the years, Mr. Kurtis has created a body of work that is virtually unparalleled.
Mr. Kurtis was the featured speaker at the Chicago Division's first Law Enforcement Memorial Service, held in May of 2007. He gave a riveting presentation on the sacrifice made by law enforcement officers, giving special attention to FBI agents from the Chicago office that have fallen in the line of duty.
In July 2008, Mr. Kurtis was the keynote speaker for the Chicago Division's FBI 100th anniversary celebration, which was held at Navy Pier and attended by nearly 1000 current and former employees and friends of the FBI. Later that year, Mr. Kurtis served in a similar capacity for the Indianapolis Division's 100th anniversary celebration. At both events, Mr. Kurtis gave a well-received recounting of how the FBI helped solve a series of murders of Native Americans in the early days of the FBI.
Recently, Mr. Kurtis began profiling wanted Chicago FBI fugitives or detailing unsolved investigations on a weekly series called Cold Case Minutes, which airs on the Chicago CBS television affiliate.
Mr. Kurtis has been the recipient of numerous humanitarian, journalism, and broadcasting awards, including three Emmy Awards, a Cable ACE Award, and the Thurgood Marshall Award for his Investigative Reports series on the death penalty. He is a member of the board of directors of several distinguished organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, the National Park Foundation, and the Field Museum of Chicago.