Mark Konkol

Writer at Large @KonkolsKorner

Mark Konkol lives on the South Side. He is a White Sox fan. He has a dog, cat and a Wikipedia page.

The writer-at-large for Chicago plays bad guitar, drinks good rum and enjoys long motorcycle rides to the beach.

He once was forced to trade his jeans for loaner fat-lady club pants to get in the Union League Club.

Konkol grew up in South Holland and graduated from Thornwood High School, which he likes to boast is where he struck out future Major League All-Star Cornelius “Cliff” Floyd in batting practice.

Konkol also tells people that for two years he was the starting left guard on the Culver-Stockton College football team. That didn't last. He graduated from Western Illinois University.

For the last 13 years, Konkol has written about Chicago, all of it. He’s covered Chicago City Hall, transportation, county government and courts, city neighborhoods and White Sox 2005 World Series run from a fan’s perspective.

Most recently, Konkol was the Writer at Large for the Chicago Sun-Times where he teamed up with his pals Frank Main and John J. Kim to produce a series of stories about "Why they won't stop shooting in Chicago" that was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.

After that, Konkol’s mom said he was a pretty good reporter. Just to be safe, Konkol checked it out on Twitter. This is what he found: “@CharlesThomas7: Nobody covers Chicago’s ‘hood like Mark Konkol @konkolskorner.”

The neighborhoods, all of them; that's where Konkol's most comfortable writing about guys he'll never forget including Bernard, the homeless guy in River North. And that “Grandpa Joe” character, who ended a confrontation with Mike Royko by saying, “You’ll never be Studs. You’ll never be Algren.”

And you don't have to say it, Konkol already knows he'll never be Royko.

He's fine with that — Royko was never on Twitter.

Fun fact: At the final Sun-Times vs. Tribune flag football game in 2004, Konkol ran over a Trib reporter, who got really mad at him. Years later, at the urging of Chris “The Watchdog” Fusco, Konkol apologized to the Trib guy at a Christmas party even though Konkol really did nothing wrong. When a fat guy’s running as fast as he can, get out of the way. That’s just common sense.

South Chicago & East Side »

October 24, 2014

Radio Extra: Father and Son Team Up To Open Conceal Carry Institute

Anthony and Tony Burmistrz say they opened the Chicagoland Conceal Carry Institute for the neighborhood.

South Chicago & East Side »

October 24, 2014

What's There To Learn About Conceal And Carry? More Than You Might Think

Chicagoland Conceal Carry Institute owners hope gun-training class helps neighbors feel safe.

South Chicago & East Side »

October 22, 2014

South Chicago Art Center 'Fun-Raiser' to Help Kids

The follow-up to the art center’s “I Heart Art” gallery exhibit focuses on kid-friendly fun.

Pullman & Roseland »

October 22, 2014

Chicago's Newest Police Horse Sculpture to be 'Biggest Kegger in the City'

Pullman artist Chris Campagna made a horse of a different color: beer colors. And it has two taps.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

October 21, 2014

Chicago has Great Meatloaf, Insists Rocker Ryan Adams (So, Here's a Map)

At a recent concert, Adams asked how Chicagoans "know how to make meatloaf so good.”

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

October 20, 2014

Businessmen (And One Union Guy) Get Punched In the Face For a Good Cause

Mercy Home's "Ringside" fundraiser raised nearly $1 million to continue to help troubled Chicago kids.

South Chicago & East Side »

October 17, 2014

'Space To Grow' Wants Volunteers to Help Finish Grissom Schoolyard Makeover

Just one final day of planting and mulching needed to finish Grissom School's improved yard.

Pilsen, Little Village, Near West Side »

October 17, 2014

Homebrewers Emerge From Basements This Weekend to 'Geek Out' Together

The American Homebrewers Association and Lagunitas will host a rally Sunday at the brewery.