Veteran journalist, publicist and promoter Arnie Matanky, a man well-versed in the history of Chicago journalism, died of cancer on Jan. 5 at the Warren Barr Pavilion nursing home in Chicago. He was 73.
Born in Chicago in 1930, Matanky began his journalism career in 1947 at the Chicago Sun. He later moved to the Journal of Commerce, Community News Service and Chicago TV Week, where he served as associate editor. From 1953 to 1959 he wrote and edited news for WBBM-TV and WBBM radio.
In 1956, Matanky founded the Near North News, a neighborhood tabloid serving the Gold Coast, and continued to edit the paper for 40 years. Although he is perhaps best known for his work at that newspaper, Matanky owned Information Consultants, a public relations firm which did business with many local government agencies.
Matanky served as press spokesman for the Chicago Park District, then run by Ed Kelly, from 1971 to 1980. In 1958 he co-founded the Gold Coast Art Fair. Following the demise of the old Chicago Press Club, Matanky founded and until his death was president of the International Press Club of Chicago.
He served on the board of the Chicago Press Veterans Association, as president of B’nai B’rith Near North Lodge, Park Synagogue of Chicago and the Sandburg Village Council. Matanky also was active in Hugo’s Companions, the local chapter of the Sherlock Holmes Society.