• Jim Newberry
  • Fletcher Weatherspoon (left) in spring 2012, shaking hands with his son Ron

I just heard from Jake Austen (of Roctober and Chic-a-Go-Go fame) that Fletcher Weatherspoon, the subject of his 2012 Reader story “Spoon’s last dance,” died this morning. Born in 1932, Weatherspoon was a beloved keystone of Chicago’s thriving African-American social-club scene for six decades; in 1973 he founded entertainment and promotions company Dove Productions. Austen heard the news of his passing from one of Weatherspoon’s four sons, ElWarren, who continues to run Dove with his brothers. Weatherspoon was 82 years old.

The cause of death hasn’t been made public yet, and information about services is forthcoming. I’ll update this post when it becomes available. In the meantime, in the absence of an actual eulogy I highly recommend Austen’s beautiful profile of Weatherspoon, written on the occasion of his final Mother’s Day Dinner & Show two and a half years ago.