John Schmeltzer is a business writer for the Chicago Tribune. Until February 2003, he was assigned to covering the nation’s airline industry, a position he had held since 1967.
Prior to this, Schmeltzer had been a Tribune banking and economics writer since 1995. Previous positions within the Tribune include: a retail writer (1991-1995), personal finance writer (1990-1991), associate metropolitan editor/bureau chief (1988-1990), assistant bureau chief (1986-1988), editorial writer (1985-1986), suburban political writer (1982-1985), suburban editor (1976-1982) and suburban reporter (1973-1976).
Prior to joining the Tribune in 1973, Schmeltzer was a news editor for the Daily Republican, Belvidere, IL, business and political writer for the Lynchburg Daily News in Lynchburg, VA, public relations director at Doane College in Crete, NE and a general assignment reporter at the Davenport Times-Democrat (now known as the Quad City Times) in Davenport, IA. He has also been a contributing editor for Colliers Encyclopedia, Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia and World Book Encyclopedia.
Schmeltzer has a B.A. from Wartburg College, Waverly, IA, and an M.A. from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. He is a member of the Headline Club of Chicago, Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
Schmeltzer won a Peter Lisagor Award in 2003 for deadline reporting for “UAL Files for Bankruptcy,” in 1994 for “Sears, One Year After” and in 1993 for “Sears Closes the Book.” Also in 1984 he won First Place, Public Service Reporting, Illinois Associated Press.
Schmeltzer was one of the lead writers and principal planners for the Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize winning series “Gateway to Gridlock,” a document of the problems with the nation’s aviation system. The Pulitzer was awarded to the Tribune for Excellence in Explanatory Journalism in 2001.