The “Chicago Story Lady” had a remarkable knack for telling a good fairy tale. Born the tenth child in a family of eleven children, Chicago native, Georgene Faulkner realized she had a gift for writing and performing enchanting stories. Dressed in costumes appropriate for her tales, Georgene spun her talent into a career entertaining children, parents, and teachers. During World War I she expanded it to include homesick American troops in Europe.
Her sister, Elizabeth, founded The Faulkner School in 1909 on Chicago’s south side where Georgene headed the kindergarten department. For more than 60 years together the sisters provided a homelike environment “to advance ideals, teach little children how to listen and to think, broaden their imaginations and fill their hearts with thoughts of heroism, kindness, and brotherly love,” she stated.
As the children’s editor of the Chicago Tribune from 1911 to 1919, she wrote on a variety of children’s topics. In 1922, Georgene was the first to record children’s records and the first to broadcast those children’s stories over Chicago radio. Her programs “The Story Lady” and “Air Castle” could be heard on WMAQ and WGN. She authored seventeen children’s books from 1913 to 1952.
Georgene was a member of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association throughout her career and was a close friend and colleague of the IWPA’s eleventh president, Mary Eleanor O’Donnell, who from 1910 to 1913 was the woman’s editor at the Chicago Tribune.