Sidney Andorn - Radio and Television News Commentator

10400 Brighton Road
Sidney Andorn
Sidney Andorn

Sidney Ignatius Andorn was born on September 25, 1906, in Newark, Ohio. He moved to Cleveland with his family in 1912. After graduating from Western Reserve University with a degree in English, he joined the Cleveland Press in 1929, soon writing Cleveland’s first gossip column, “The Minute Review.”

Andorn married Jessie Brown Semple on August 13, 1938. They had a daughter, Anne.

In 1935, Andorn began his radio career and switched to hard news for WGAR. Over the next fifteen years, he also did news commentaries and a groundbreaking open forum program, in which listeners phoned in questions on civic issues to experts in the studio.

In 1944, he won a commendation for his coverage of the East Ohio Gas Company explosion and fire when a tank containing liquid natural gas equivalent to 90 million cubic feet exploded, setting off the most disastrous fire in Cleveland’s history.

Sidney next married Miriam Cramer, a well-known playwright, lecturer, teacher, and fashion designer in the Cleveland area. She was born in 1905 and graduated from Flora Stone Mather College in 1928, then from Western Reserve University’s School of Graduate Studies in 1941 after writing “More Love Brother” for her master’s thesis. This musical play, concerning the North Union Shaker community in the 1860s, was performed at Cain Park in 1945. She also studied dance with Eleanor Frampton and Martha Graham and taught at Laurel and Cain Park schools.

Andorn entered television in 1950 as a program director for WXEL (WJW). Later in his career, he returned to Channel 8 as host of the “Cleveland Caucus,” a civic affairs program. Andorn wrote a column for the Cleveland News from 1954 until its demise in 1960, when he returned to WGAR, doing news commentaries and the open forum.

As a City Club member, he instituted its summer outdoor debates in the Cleveland Public Library’s Eastman Garden. He also taught broadcast journalism and mass communications at Cuyahoga Community College. Late in his career, Andorn’s news commentaries were heard over WCLV-FM, and his column appeared in the Sun Newspapers.

Sidney died on September 9, 1960, in Cleveland Heights and was buried in New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, Suffolk County, New York. He was survived by his second wife, the former Miriam Cramer, and a daughter, Dr. Anne Andorn.