Career of veteran radio broadcaster from Princeton spans half a century
This year’s sidewalk star and plaque, to be added to South Main Street near the Apollo Theater, will honor Nick Young, a Princeton native whose radio broadcasting career has spanned more than five decades.
Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram made the announcement Thursday.
Young was born and raised in Princeton as Nick Yeazel, the son of James and Elizabeth Yeazel. He graduated from Princeton High School in 1967.
His 50-plus-year radio career began at WZOE. Professionally known as “Nick Young,” he has worked in local and network radio, culminating as the anchor of the CBS World News Roundup, the oldest running news radio program in the United States.
As an award-winning journalist, Young covered Pope John Paul II, the Challenger disaster, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Mike Tyson and O.J. Simpson trials, Mother Teresa’s funeral, the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War and currently, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young has reported on hurricanes, plane crashes, political conventions, presidential campaigns and inaugurations. He has reported from the White House, the Supreme Court and he traveled with President Clinton.
Young continues to anchor for WBBM Radio in Chicago. He has two younger brothers, John and Jim.
Young lives in Princeton with his wife, Deborah. Their son, Christopher Yeazel, also lives in Princeton. Young is also a published writer, artist and blues musician.
The installation of Young’s star and plaque is scheduled for Homestead Festival week in September.
The star and plaque program was initiated by Bart Kassabaum and Jim Dunn, representing the Rediscover Richard Widmark group, when they proposed Richard Widmark’s star and plaque two years ago. Widmark, a Hollywood actor who graduated from Princeton High School in 1932, made more than 70 movies between 1947 and 1991.
Last year, Princeton Tourism added a star and plaque for Princeton’s Kathryn Hays, of “As the World Turns” fame.
Next year’s honoree, during Homestead’s 50th anniversary, will be Keith Knudsen, longtime drummer of the Doobie Brothers, who was a founding member of the band, Southern Pacific.
In 2022, Douglas Spencer (born William Mesenkop) will get a star. He was in 70 movies and TV shows, among them “Double Indemnity” (1944), “The Lost Weekend” (1945), “The Big Clock” (1948), “The Thing from Another World” (1951), “Shane” (1953), “River of No Return” (1954), “This Island Earth” (1955), “The Man from Del Rio” (1956), “The Diary of Anne Frank” (1958) and “The Sins of Rachel Cade” (1960).
Television roles include “Bonanza,” “Tales of Wells Fargo” and “The Twilight Zone.” He is the brother of Louis Henry Mesenkop, winner of two Academy Awards for sound engineering. Douglas is buried in Oakland Cemetery.
And world-renowned organist Virgil Fox is scheduled to get a star and plaque in 2023, Quiram stated.