James C. Slusher is an award-winning newspaper writer and editor with more than 35 years experience throughout the Midwest and California. As Assistant Managing Editor for Opinion at the Daily Herald, the third largest daily newspaper in Illinois, he oversees the development of the editorial page and helps define the editorial voice at a 130,000-circulation daily newspaper serving the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago. Slusher works closely with other newsroom managers to establish and monitor policies of the news operation, and he writes a weekly column to give readers insights into the decision-making processes of the Daily Herald newsroom.
He also is an accomplished writer in his own right. His first novel, Leviathan’s Scales, was published as an ebook in July 2013 by Dailey Swan Publishers. He published a collection of short stories titled Faith of a Father And Other Stories as an e-book in November 2015. He is a contributing writer to the ebook Telling the Truth and Nothing But, published in 2013 by the American Copy Editors Society. He also has produced a novella and numerous essays and short stories. His second novel, Within the Bosom, is currently being reviewed by publishers. A former high school English teacher, he has taught a recurring class in “Writing Autobiographical Stories” at William Rainey Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. His weekly column “Letter to Readers” has appeared on the Daily Herald editorial page for more than 15 years.
Prior to assuming his current duties at the Daily Herald, Slusher worked for seven years supervising a team of senior reporters that developed investigative projects, cultural issues stories, coverage of major breaking news and enterprise stories on virtually all topics. And prior to that, he produced and supervised programs promoting an atmosphere of learning at all levels in the Daily Herald’s then-290-person newsroom. He has led workshops on journalism and newsroom leadership for various regional and national organizations, including the Inland Press Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the American Copy Editors Society.
He joined the Daily Herald in 1989 as news editor. In that role, he managed the staff responsible for designing pages, writing headlines and editing copy for all aspects of the paper. In 1992, he became associate editor, expanding his oversight of production issues and increasing his role in newsroom operations. He assumed his present position in 2010.
A 1974 graduate of Western Illinois University, Slusher also has taught high school for two years in the mid-’70s, served as news director of a small Iowa radio station and worked in all newsroom capacities at newspapers in northwestern Illinois, Michigan and California. He and his wife Patty make their home in Mount Prospect, Illinois, where they raised their three sons. Though he acknowledges that his piano playing is akin to dancing ballet in steel-toed work boots, he loves it anyway and regularly finds time to bang away at rock ‘n roll classics with his friends George Winkler and Paul Amidei.