Radio announcer and executive Earle H. "Bud" Gillis, Jr. was born on December 27, 1919 in Danville, Illinois. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Danville, before enrolling at the University of Illinois to work on a B.A. in speech. After his graduation in 1941, Gillis spent the following two years as a radio announcer. He was chief announcer at WDAN radio in Danville and he was staff announcer in Evansville, Indiana for WGBF radio. Following this initial work in radio, Gillis entered the military and became a Second Lieutenant in the Army's Medical Administrative Corps. In the Army he was able to use his knowledge of radio to announce and to help construct and manage a hospital broadcasting system in Wakeman General Hospital, Camp Atterbury, Indiana.
In December of 1946, Gillis returned to civilian life as an announcer and newscaster for WHKC Radio. From 1953 to 1962 Gillis was Program Manager for WLWC/Channel 4 where he supervised all programming, coordinated program schedules with NBC, and handled on-air talent. From 1962 to 1970, Gillis served as Executive Secretary for the Ohio Educational Television Network Commission. Here, Gillis helped construct and operate a statewide television network that greatly increased the number of viewers in Ohio. By 1969, the Ohio General Assembly was willing to authorize more than $5.5 million for the network.
In the 1970's Gillis held a variety of jobs in broadcasting. Between 1970 and 1971, he helped produce mobile color remote television as an administrative assistant to the President of the RME Group of Communications Companies. Between 1973 and 1976 he was a TV commercial announcer for the Big Bear Supermarket Chain. During this period he also worked for the Ohio Department of Education from 1971 to 1975 as an educational consultant. At this job he coordinated a newly formed educational media center, assisted the Superintendent of Public Instructions, supervised special projects, and acted as the publications review specialist. From 1975 until his retirement in 1988 Gillis was Vice President of development for WCET in Cincinnati, while also acting as "Uncle Bud" for children's programs.