Dann Gire came to the Daily Herald in 1975 and has held positions of government reporter, crime reporter, Metro reporter (assigned to the Cook County Criminal Courts), and film critic. He served as the newspaper’s film critic for nearly 40 years.
Gire taught Writing Film Criticism at Chicago's Columbia College during the 2017 J-Term. He has also taught journalism classes for the Communications Department at Aurora University (Illinois) 2008-2010 where he assisted professor Heidi Schlumpf in launching the university’s first online newspaper, the Aurora Chronicle, in the fall of 2010. From 1984 to 2006, as an adjunct instructor at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Ill., Gire taught classes in drama, novels & short stories, film & literature, introductory journalism, mass communications and feature writing.
He was appointed to the Eastern Illinois University Journalism Advisory Council in 2002, and has served on the Journalism Program Advisory Committee at William Rainey Harper College (1995-2006)
He has won the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism in Arts Criticism nine times. He has also won first-place awards from the Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the Associated Press, and other journalism organizations. In 2013, he was named "Friend of Scholastic Journalism" by both the national and Illinois chapters of the Journalism Education Association some time after he provided testimony to the Higher Education committees of the Illinois Senate and Illinois House to promote passage of the Illinois College Campus Press Act, that would make political firings of college newspaper staffs and faculty advisers illegal. The act became law on June 1, 2008.
During a 2014 speech at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield, Ill., Gire called for an extension of this shield law to protect high school journalists and their advisors. Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a widely supported bill doing just that in 2016.
Gire serves as the president and founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Assn. He wrote the organization’s ethics code and founded the group’s Zappa Committee charged with monitoring First Amendment violations against filmmakers and recommending responses to those violations. Gire also sits on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Headline Club, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
He has also worked as a high school, middle school and elementary school substitute teacher in Illinois districts 54, 59, 211 and 214. He served on the Thinking Skills Task Force for Schaumburg Township District 54 1989-1991, the Schaumburg Township District 54 Foundation Board (1990-91), the William Rainey Harper College Foundation (1996-97)
His broadcast experience includes contributing film criticism for television outlets Chicago Fox TV News, ABC7 Chicago News, WTTW-TV "Chicago Tonight" and WGN Channel 9 News, plus radio outlets WGN-720 AM Roy Leonard Show,” WBEZ 91.5 FM "The Greg Hinz Show,” WLUP 97.9 FM "Kevin Matthews Show,” WJMK 104.5 FM "John and Dann Go to the Movies" starring John Landecker, WLS-890 AM "The Larry Lujack Show," WJJD 1160 AM "The Clark Weber Show" and WMAQ 670 AM "The Morton Downey Jr. Show.”
Gire holds bachelor and master degrees in communications from Eastern Illinois University where he trained as a sports editor, reporter, photography editor and co-editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, the Daily Eastern News. He is married to Peggy Gire, a recently retired music teacher in Schaumburg District 54. They have two daughters: Lauren Elaine Gire and Morgan Gire, both residing in the Chicago area.