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Chalmers Marquis

  • Birthplace: Bloomington, Illinois
  • Birthday: November 12
Date of passing: 
March 24, 2018

Obituary

Obituary: 

Chalmers Marquis was an American television executive.

After starting his career in commercial television as a dolly-pusher, Marquis began ascending the ranks at Chicago’s newly founded educational television station, WTTW. From 1955 to 1964, he rose from producer/director to director of programming at WTTW. Under his direction, the station became the largest public broadcaster in the United States. In 1965, Marquis was tapped for posts in Washington, D.C., first with the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, then at PBS, where he served as vice president of national affairs.

Chalmers Marquis was an American television executive.

After starting his career in commercial television as a dolly-pusher, Marquis began ascending the ranks at Chicago’s newly founded educational television station, WTTW. From 1955 to 1964, he rose from producer/director to director of programming at WTTW. Under his direction, the station became the largest public broadcaster in the United States. In 1965, Marquis was tapped for posts in Washington, D.C., first with the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, then at PBS, where he served as vice president of national affairs.

He also served as Congressional liaison for the National Association of Public Television Stations and Children’s Television Workshop. During his tenures, Marquis helped create the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and expand educational television to school classrooms across the country. As public television’s chief Congressional liaison, he also helped secure federal support for such landmark children’s programming as Sesame Street and 1-2-3 Contact.

Following retirement in 1991, he remained active, lecturing at universities and working with the U.S. State Department to help Saudi Arabia establish an educational television network. His papers now reside at the University of Maryland library.

Marquis died March 24, 2018, in Alexandria, Virginia. He was 91.

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Chalmers Marquis

Chalmers Marquis

Photo credit: 
National Association of Public Television Stations

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