Once the interviewer, now the interviewee—newsman and entrepreneur Bill Kurtis will field questions from his long-time partner Donna La Pietra at the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society’s signature Local Legends event on November 8.
When the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society launched the Local Legends series as their signature fundraising event a few years ago, they turned to news veterans Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra to help produce it.
“We went right to work as we always do,” explains La Pietra, thinking back to the first Local Legends event with Captain James Lovell. “Bill was the emcee and I put my production hat on.”
But for this year’s celebration, the tables have turned. Kurtis is being honored as the Local Legend and his beloved La Pietra will be asking the questions.
“Are you nervous about what I might ask,” she muses.
“Is there anything you don’t know about me?” Kurtis retorts.
This formidable duo has been nearly inseparable since they first met in the CBS newsroom in 1974. Their work during those years at CBS formed an incredible bond between Kurtis and La Pietra that was both professional and personal. “We can’t imagine not working together,” says La Pietra, who is now the CEO of Kurtis Productions, a venture that evolved into a second vibrant career for the pair. Their years in the newsroom also prepared them well for the philanthropic lives they’re leading today. “There was this sense that if you were on the airwaves, you had a responsibility to the communities you served. Bill led the way in getting himself involved in organizations—30-fold—to help them raise money and build awareness,” she says.
Today, when they’re not opening their beautiful Mettawa weekend home and gardens to local organizations, they’re enjoying the serenity of the surroundings that brought them to the northern suburbs 24 years ago. “This is where we want to be,” Kurtis says.
Local Legends with Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra will take place Saturday, November 8, at 4 p.m. in Raymond Moore Auditorium at Lake Forest High School. Tickets are $75 each. To purchase tickets, visit lflbhistory.org, or call 847-234-5253.