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.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

September 30, 2014

It's Chicago vs. New York as Neil Steinberg Squares Off Against Thomas Dyja

The Newberry Library hosts an intellectual debate over New York's greatest Chicago slur, "Second City."

Bridgeport, Chinatown & McKinley Park »

September 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Paul Konerko Felt Like Old Times at Sox Park

Paul Konerko, a six-time All-Star, was the best of us —  consistent, loyal, humble and determined.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

September 26, 2014

Writing Phil Hartman Book Taught 'Grumpy' Author Mike Thomas To Lighten Up

KONKOL: "You Might Remember Me, The Life And Times Of Phil Hartman" captures the many facets of Phil.

Lincoln Park & Old Town »

September 25, 2014

Teen Charged in Jesse White Tumbler's Murder Part of Chicago's Gun 'Trap'

KONKOL: Charged with murder, Quentin "Q" Evans couldn't escape Chicago's gun trap, authorities said.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

September 25, 2014

Mark Konkol Talks About Being a Tourist in His Town on Fox Chicago's writer-at-large decided to vacation in an exciting American city this summer ... Chicago.

Lincoln Park & Old Town »

September 24, 2014

Teen Charged With Killing Jesse White Tumbler Held on $1M Bond

Quinton Evans, 19, allegedly rode up to Devonshay Lofton, 16, and shot him to death.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

September 24, 2014

A Tourist in My Own Town: A Nice Place To Visit, but I Like My Neighborhood

KONKOL: A summer in a luxurious high-rise doesn't outshine life in historic Pullman, struggle and all.

Pullman & Roseland »

September 22, 2014

A Tourist in My Own Town: Stella's Summer in Dog-Friendly Chicago Cut Short

South Side dogs get short shrift on puppy-friendly parks and beaches.