Gil Sandler | WYPR

Gil Sandler

Up through the 1940s Baltimoreans knew it was spring when they saw the organ grinders and their monkeys appear suddenly on the street corners of downtown. One such organ grinder was Luciano Ibolito, and his monkey’s name was Julia. And this is the story of how together they would usher spring in Baltimore.

The Littlest Angel

Dec 21, 2018

Gil tells of the 1953 "street theater behind glass" in the window of the Hochschild, Kohn department store in downtown Baltimore.

A Tribute to Gil Sandler (1923-2018)

Dec 20, 2018
photo courtesy Tom Hall

We come to you today with a heavy heart.   Yesterday afternoon Gilbert Sandler, the great writer and raconteur died, after a long illness.

No one knew Baltimore or wrote about its charms, its quirks, and its characters as well as Gilbert Sandler.  He was a gifted and spirited story teller, with a great ear for the rhythm and the arc of the stories he told, whether or not he was writing a book, a newspaper column, or reading one of his popular Baltimore Stories here on WYPR. 

He began his career as a radio personality in 2003.  Long before that, he had found his voice as a writer.  Now, at the age of 80, he discovered his voice as an actual teller of tales.  In all, he produced about 175 Baltimore Stories, with which he has delighted us every Friday morning for more than 15 years.  Each one was beautifully and masterfully designed, with a graceful arc, and, very importantly, an abiding respect for the many quirky and colorful characters he introduced us to...

Gil Sandler, the legendary Baltimore folklorist who wrote for local newspapers and WYPR, draped the city in stories that will last forever. 

From former Governor Donald Schaefer to Al Capone to Leona Gage (the young woman from Glen Burnie who won "Miss America," only to have her crown ripped away!)...Gil gathered our local history and shared it with humor, beauty, wisdom, and utter charm.

Here, his three WYPR producers: Lisa Morgan, Luke Spicknall and Mary Rose Madden share a collaborative we hope would make Gil proud.