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.

Uptown & Andersonville »

March 27, 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Says He's Not All Talk on Uptown Music District Vision

Starting in April, 'Uptown Saturday Night' events aim to highlight neighborhood's cultural offerings.

Bronzeville & Washington Park »

March 26, 2015

Why Rahm Emanuel Won't Put His Kids in His Campaign Ads

"Adolescence is hard enough without your father [bleeping] it up," he says.

Bronzeville & Washington Park »

March 26, 2015

'I Hate You All Equally' is Rahm's Mom-Inspired Comeback to Reporter

Rahm Emanuel invoked his mother's joke when asked why he doesn't seem to like a reporter.

Bronzeville & Washington Park »

March 26, 2015

Rahm Emanuel Says 'I'm Ready Either Way' As Runoff Election Looms

KONKOL: Over lunch, Emanuel talks neighborhoods, kids, schmutz and his mea culpa. He also gets insulted.

Lakeview & Wrigleyville »

March 24, 2015

Local H Celebrates 25 Years With New Album and Same Old Love For Metro

Local H front man Scott Lucas to kick off "Hey, Killer" tour at Metro on band's silver anniversary.

Austin & Belmont Cragin »

March 19, 2015

Mayor's Race Pits Two Chicagos - One Rich, One Poor - Against Each Other

KONKOL: Rahm Emanuel and Chuy Garcia had different messages for different audiences in their debate.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

March 18, 2015

Brian Urlacher Says His Kids Were 'Over Me' Until Children's Book Came Out

The "Middle School Rules of Brian Urlacher," by Sean Jensen, aims to inspire, inform kid readers.

Beverly, Mt. Greenwood & Morgan Park »

March 17, 2015

Did Neighbor Leagues Get Unfairly Punished for Jackie Robinson West's Sins?

Ald. Anthony Beale wants Little League International to reconsider its decision to disband District 4.