Lee Anglin, inadequately described by the Tribune as "a politically connected south suburban man," was sentenced the other day to 15 years in prison. He'd fleeced investors of some $10 million operating what the Tribune headline called a "Ponzi scheme" that involved securities he sold backed by real estate that was either worthless or didn't exist. One investor was quoted as calling Anglin a "pathological liar" — a far more robust description but also inadequate.
I'm not sure Anglin can be summed up in so many words, but "legendary Chicago newspaper publisher" belongs in the mix.
I'm sure I merely skimmed the surface of the man in a column ten years ago that noted he'd once published an edition of his South Chicago Herald with a banner headline announcing, "This Weeks Editorial Page is Sponsored By: William Chevrolet/GEO."
His punditry, on frequent display, ran to such musings as "I want to use 12 ounce gloves instead of 16 so when I break your jaw and your mouth is wired I can feel the bones breaking."
Meanwhile, Anglin was running for political office as a Republican in 1994 and as a Democrat in 1996. There was an incident in 2000 when he survived unscathed an alleged assassination attempt by the godfather of Eddie Vrdolyak's children. The report was questioned because the triggerman Anglin accused — who'd once been sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder — had a reputation for not missing anyone he wanted to hit. Another curiosity is that the matter soon led to the arrest not only of the purported assailant but, briefly, of Anglin himself.
In 2001 I wrote a follow-up when Anglin's alleged would-be assassin was acquitted. "Anglin's history of bad-check convictions didn't help his credibility," I reported.