CHICAGO, May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Merri Dee has completed work on and published her first book, "Life Lessons on Faith, Forgiveness & Grace." The memoir will be officially released on June 5 at an event hosted by Fifth Third Bank at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. "It is our pleasure and honor to host this event and show our support for this incredible woman," said Bob Sullivan, President & CEO, Fifth Third Bank Chicago. "Merri's triumph over tragedy and life's work is inspired and we are excited to be among the first to celebrate her long list of achievements and her memoir."
"We are delighted to be a part of the official launch of Merri's memoir," said Bruce DuMont, President, Museum of Broadcast Communications. "Merri Dee's career has spanned a period of time when her on-air work was considered pioneering. She has achieved legendary status in the Chicago broadcast community and it's fitting to host this occasion at the museum."
Dee's 40+ years in radio and television news broadcasting started at a time when few, if any, women of color were on air and has been credited with opening doors for Oprah and other women in high profile on-air roles. In "Life Lessons on Faith, Forgiveness & Grace," Dee gives a look into her personal and professional life. While labeled as a memoir, the book also shares insightful lessons learned by the broadcast legend that can help others who are seeking inspiration and empowerment.
With unflinching honesty, Dee takes you from her humble upbringing on Chicago's South Side, to her rise to the top as one of the most trusted names in media, philanthropy and advocacy. In vivid and heartbreaking detail, Merri Dee reveals the pain of losing her mother at a very young age and the horror of living with a cruel stepmother who constantly tortured her. Even as an adult, she was the victim of domestic violence perpetrated by her boyfriend-a famous R&B singer-who physically and verbally abused her during their rocky relationship. She celebrates her miraculous recovery after she was kidnapped, shot in the head and left to die. That tragic moment inspired her to live her life with even more purpose. Through all of the pain and calamity of her tumultuous past, Merri Dee found inner-strength through her unwavering faith and peace, love, and joy that comes from God's amazing grace. After reading this inspiring story, you will discover the power of joy over pain and triumph over tragedy, as you walk with Merri to a rewarding, fulfilling and successful life.
This one-of-a-kind inspirational book features a foreword by internationally acclaimed Jazz recording artist Nancy Wilson, with insightful comments from jazz great Ramsey Lewis, radio legend Herb Kent and former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. The memoir also includes references to, and historic photos of, Merri's friends and associates-some of the most influential personalities of our time.
"Life Lessons on Faith, Forgiveness & Grace" is now available for sale through the author's official web site, www.merridee.com. Dee is also scheduled to keynote events throughout the city and country to promote the book throughout 2013.
About the Author:
Merri Dee began her long relationship with broadcast media in 1966 as a radio personality. She moved into television in 1972, where she served on air as a news anchor and talk show host. At the height of her very promising career, Dee was confronted with a personal tragedy when she and a talk show guest were kidnapped from the television station and nearly killed by the attackers. Not one to remain a victim, however, Dee looks upon that incident – which changed the course of her career and life – as a challenge to grow. Lobbying state and city politicians, Dee assisted in the passage of Illinois' first Victims Bill of Rights law, legislation that has served as a model for other states. Following the tragic event, Dee became more involved in the administrative aspect of television production and was appointed director of community relations at WGN-TV. In this capacity, Dee served as liaison between WGN-TV and the many social organizations that compose Chicago's civic community. She received direct feedback from the audience and ensured that the station served the needs of Chicago's diverse populations. Dee also oversaw WGN's public service campaigns. Dee retired as WGN-TV's director of community relations in the fall of 2008 and was soon appointed to serve as president of AARP-IL and on the commissions of other civic bodies. Dee also has a long record of extensive charitable work. Her most passionate endeavor, however, is on behalf of orphans. Dee has garnered an exceptional amount of attention for the issue of orphans through telethons and fundraisers. Through her efforts, she has sought to increase the number of children who get adopted each year. In 1998, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar commended Dee for increasing the number of adoptions in the state by more than 50 percent. Also a strong advocate for education, Dee has hosted the United Negro College Fund Telethon for many years. She has also hosted the prestigious Easter Seals Telethon. She is one of the founders of a Chicago-based organization called Athletes for a Better Education. She is credited with helping to raise over $40 million dollars for education and children's related causes. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the AT&T Outstanding Community Role Model award, the North American Council on Adoptable Children Outstanding Leadership Award, the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago Woman of the Year Award, and the Chicago Academy of TV Arts and Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award.
Media Contact: Andrew Hayes, 312-823-4333
SOURCE Fifth Third Bank