Stella Foster reflects on retiring from Sun-Times - FOX 32 News Chicago

Stella Foster reflects on retiring from Sun-Times

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Just when Sun-Times readers got excited about more from a popular columnist, Stella Foster dropped the bombshell: she's retiring.

Foster has made some big moves in her 45 years at the paper .. from secretary and then -assistant to the legendary Irv Kupcinet, to her own column and unique brand of gossip and commentary. But nobody saw this move coming.

"I'm not leaving town, I'm just chillin, I've got to step back," she said. "It is my choice, it is my choice baby."

The phone calls and emails have been non stop since Foster announced her retirement.

"They're mad at me, disappointed, sad, they're happy but still, who's gonna be our voice?" she said.

This office has always had a hot line, though. Back when Stella was secretary to legendary gossip columnist Irv Kupcinet, calls came from everybody who was anybody.

"I said, 'Kup, Marlon Brando is on the line. Kup went, 'Pshh!'" she said.

As Kup's health declined in the late 90s, Stella kept up with the ups and downs of public figures. Celebrities and publicists knew she was driving the column. (Stella's birthday has been a flower fest at the Sun-Times office for years.) This outgoing girl from Englewood was more than gate keeper of a powerful pen -- not a career she chose.

"Most journalists they live to write, I write to live. there is a difference," she said.

After his death in 2003, Irv Kupcinet's former secretary eventually did write her way into her own unique brand of gossip and pointed commentary on teen pregnancy, the death penalty, and even the President.

Friends and colleagues are shocked that Stella stepped down just as her column was stepped up by the papers new owners, from twice a week to five days.

"Is it really that easy? Because I take a lot of pride in what I put out there for my audience. So five days a week -- that's a real grind," she said.

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