Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Neal Samors  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Neal Samors on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Samors is a lifelong resident of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Samors is a Chicago historian and an award winning author. He was recently presented the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal for Great Lakes Regional Non-Fiction for the book Downtown Chicago in Transition. He also won the 2007 Gold Medal in history from the Independent Publishers for his book Chicago in the 1960s.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Chicago's Far North Side
ISBN: 092477231X

Chicago Historical BookWorks. 2000

The first Society authored book, which earned the Award of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society and the Association of Illinois Museums and Historical Societies in April of 2001.

Neighborhoods Within Neighborhoods: Twentieth Century Life on Chicago's Far North Side
ISBN: 0971684200

Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society. 2002

Our second Society authored book, including excerpts from oral histories conducted with more than 125 current and former neighborhood residents, including Shecky Greene, Hugh Downs, Harold Ramis, Ira Berkow, Joel Weisman, Jan Schakowsky, Sr. Ann Ida Gannon, Neil Hartigan, Art Berman, and Scott Turow.

The Old Chicago Neighborhood, Remembering Life in the 1940's
ISBN: 0972545611

Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc.. 2003

Hardcover, 207 pages. Chicago, Life in the 1940's.

Real Chicago
ISBN: 0972545638

Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc.. 2004

"Real Chicago: Photographs from the Files of the Chicago Sun-Times" is an artistic and historical look at Chicago since 1940 based on photographs from the files of the Chicago Sun-Times. The book includes 250 duotone, black and white photographs, and an introduction by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Roger Ebert

Real Chicago Sports
ISBN: 0972545662

Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc.. 2005

A seventy-five year look, from 1930 through the 2005 World Championship Chicago White Sox,at Chicago sports through 288 pages of 375 duotone, black and white photographs from the files of the Chicago Sun-Times. The book also includes an introduction by Rick Telander, sports columnist of the Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago in the Fifties: Remembering Life in the Loop and the Neighborhoods
ISBN: 0972545646

Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc.. 2005

A nostalgic look at Chicago during the 1950s,with chapters entitled Life in the Neighborhoods, Let's Go Downtown, Growing Up in the City, The Sporting Life, and Entertainment in the City. The book has interviews with 65 current and former Chicagoans,including Hugh Hefner, Shelley Berman, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mike Wallace, Hugh Downs, Mort Sahl, Rich Melman, Warner Saunders, Jack Rosenberg, Georgie Anne Geyer, US District Judge Charles Kocoras,Chuck Schaden, Billy Pierce, Carmen Salvino and Johnny Morris. The book also includes more than 200 duotone, black and white photographs.

Chicago in the Sixties
ISBN: 0978866312

Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc.. 2006

Chicago in the Sixties: Remembering a Time of Change is a book about the city during two "decades." One began in 1960 as a continuation of the 1950s and lasted until around 1965. Then, as if a tornado roared through the area, the period from 1965 and throughout the 1970s shifted dramatically in its social, economic and political directions. This a book of the memories of 80 current and former Chicagoans, all with different backgrounds and experiences, but with a common focus: remembrances of a decade of change. The introduction to the book is written by Bob Sirott.

Downtown Chicago in Transition
ISBN: 0979789206

Chicago's Books Press, an imprint of Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc.. 2007

It is like no other book about Chicago's past and present--exploring the dynamic changes that have continuously shaped the greater Loop district from the late nineteenth century to the present time. Downtown's evolution is vividly portrayed through more than 250 historical photos interlaced with a tapestry of memories, experiences and thoughts related by interviewees such as Josephine Baskin Minow, Gary Johnson, Jerome R. Butler, James McDonough, Ann Roth, James O'Connor, Kay Mayer, Michael Demetrio, Bernard Judge, Paul Meincke, Potter Palmer IV and Marshall Field V. A descriptive narrative introduces each section of the book, tying all the elements together.

The Rise of the Magnificent Mile
ISBN: 0979789257

Chicago's Books Press. 2008

Chicago's North Michigan Avenue, also known throughout the world as The Magnificent Mile, traces its early history to 1837 when the City of Chicago was incorporated. It is difficult to imagine that today's famous avenue, with shopping malls, skyscrapers, condominiums, world class stores, and major hotels was once a dirt road with a few wooden houses. Almost all of the buildings and mansions were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, except for the Water Tower and Pumping Station. The street that would become known as North Michigan Avenue after the Michigan Avenue Bridge was opened in 1920, was originally called Pine Street. The Fourth Presbyterian Church was built in 1914, and, during the 1920s, such structures as the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, Allerton Hotel, Palmolive Building and Drake Hotel, along with numerous low rise and mid rise buildings went up along the avenue. Construction ground to a halt during the Great Depression and World War II, but, beginning in the 1950s and continuing throuhout the rest of the 20th century, there was an explosion in construction on and near North Michigan Avenue. Two of the best known buildings erected during that period were The John Hancock Building and Water Tower Place. The book also covers the development of the Streeterville neighborhood to the east of the avenue with its world reknowned educational and medical complexes. In addition, Rush Street, and its entertainment venues and restaurants gets special treatment in the book, along with the well known Oak Street. Today, the area known as The Magnificent Mile, and the broader Greater North Michigan Avenue District, is a major attraction in a world class city where visitors increasingly come to discover why Chicago is such a special place. The book includes interviews with 25 well known Chicagoans, skillfully blended with more than 275 black and white, duotone and color photographs presented in a then and now format.

Clark Weber's Rock and Roll Radio: The Fun Years, 1955-1975
ISBN: 0979789222

Chicago's Books Press. 2008

Clark Weber was one of the most popular disc jockeys in Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s, first at WLS-AM and then at WCFL-AM. He was both program director and deejay at WLS, and along with Dick Biondi, Clark was one of the best known disc jockeys in America. The book includes memories, more than 75 photos, and numerous stories about Clark's career, his years at rock and roll radio stations, and remembrances of many of the popular singing stars of those years, including Elvis, The Beatles, The Supremes, Sonny and Cher, Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and lots more.

Chicago's Classic Restaurants: Past, Present and Future
ISBN: 0985273305

Chicago's Books Press. 2011

This book explores Chicago's classic restaurants from pre-1900 until the present including classics like Henrici's, Fritzels, Shangri-La, The Bakery, Le Perroquet, The Berghoff, The Pump Room, The Cape Cod Room, and The Walnut Room among many others. Then, post-1970, Richard Melman and Lawrence Levy introduced a new type of fun restaurant atmosphere in Chicago restaurants that ranged from RJ Grunts, DB Kaplan, and Fritz That's It to Lawrence of Oregano. Then there were the more upscale, traditional classic restaurants that included Ambria and Le Francais which preceded Everest, Tru, Trio, and Spiaggia. Chicago has traveled a long road to achieve its status with world-class restaurants that have included Charlie Trotter's, Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill, Scott Harris' Francesca restaurants, Boka, Perennial, Girl and the Goat, Blackbird, Avec, and Grant Achatz' Alinea and Next.


The Old Chicago Neighborhood

Speaking Engagements

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