Nobody has impacted the Chicago journalism scene over the last few decades quite like Merri Dee. The broadcasting legend called superstation WGN-TV (Channel 9) home from 1972, when she worked as a anchor and reporter, until 1983, when she took on the role of director of community relations, a title she held from 1983 to 2008.
Sadly, Merri passed away on March 16, 2022 at 85 years old, leaving behind a remarkable legacy that will undoubtedly last for long after she is laid to rest. With that being said, what exactly was Merri's cause of death? Keep reading for all of the details we know so far.
What was Merri Dee's cause of death?
Merri's family issued a statement on her official website confirming the news that she had passed away while asleep in her home on March 16, 2022.
"With great sadness, our family announces the loss of our beloved matriarch, the brightest light in our lives, Merri Dee," the statement read.
"As you can imagine our family is simply heartbroken and ask for privacy at this time," their statement continued, before the family assured fans that the page would be updated with details regarding Merri's final arrangements and memorial.
The Dee family weren't the only ones to speak out in the wake of her passing, as WGN-TV also put out a statement about the impact that Merri's career had on their network and on Chicago at large.
"From WGN staff announcer to hosting parade telecasts, telethons, and even the Illinois Lottery drawings, she was synonymous with WGN-TV. She was groundbreaking in the broadcasting field and an inspiration to several generations of young women," they said, per ABC.
The station called Merri a "one-of-a-kind legend" whose shoes will be difficult to fill.
WGN-TV highlighted Merri's successes by noting that "among her greatest legacies as Director of Community Relations, she spoke at thousands of events and helped raise over $30 million dollars for WGN-TV Children's Charities, benefitting various organizations throughout Chicagoland." "Merri Dee was a pioneer who will be greatly missed," they said.
Even Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a statement, per ABC, expressing her condolences over Merri's passing: "Mrs. Dee has truly made a positive and indelible mark on our city and inspired countless others to follow in her footsteps. We offer our deepest condolences to her loved ones during this difficult time."
Merri is survived by her husband, Nicolas Fulop, as well as their two children, a daughter and a son. Keep checking Merri's website for details regarding a memorial service.