Mark Konkol

Writer at Large @KonkolsKorner mkonkol@dnainfo.com

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 DNAinfo.com 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.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

July 29, 2015

This Lollapalooza Wearable Art Is Thrifted Clothes With Festival Designs

Dan O'Conor creates his one-of-a-kind festival clothing line at his family home in "The Magic Quarter."

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

July 28, 2015

Listen to Tuesday's Top DNAinfo Radio Stories

DNAinfo Radio offers the story behind the story, told by the reporters in Chicago's neighborhoods. 

Englewood, Auburn Gresham & Chatham »

July 28, 2015

Did Chiraq-Area Mayors Send Wrong Message by Pulling Plug on Chief Keef?

All troubled Chicago kids, even Chief Keef, deserve a chance to change their lives and seek redemption.

South Chicago & East Side »

July 24, 2015

Chicago Police Horses Serve as Galloping Tribute to Officers Killed On Duty

For Chicago police mounties, patrolling the city on horseback isn't always a gallop in the park.

Lincoln Park & Old Town »

July 23, 2015

Chris Farley Documentary Celebrates Career That Started, Ended in Chicago

"I Am Chris Farley" documentary gets Chicago screening at Second City's Up Comedy Club on Monday.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

July 21, 2015

Listen to Tuesday's Top DNAinfo Radio Stories

DNAinfo Radio offers the story behind the story, told by the reporters in Chicago's neighborhoods. 

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

July 21, 2015

Are Rogue Meter Maids Sticking It To Parkers One Bogus Ticket at a Time?

Enforcement officers use one device to check electronic meter payments and a separate to write tickets.

Bridgeport, Chinatown & McKinley Park »

July 20, 2015

Scott Podsednik's World Series Walk-Off Home Run Ball Isn't 'Authentic'

Podsednik got the game-winning home run ball back, but Major League Baseball refused to authenticate it.