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.

Wicker Park & Bucktown »

December 19, 2014

WBEZ Producer's Comedy Show Flips the Script on Chicago Politics For Laughs

Mark Konkol will appear on stage with Justin Kaufmann's "Ald. Ed Bus of the 53rd Ward" at The Hideout.

Beverly, Mt. Greenwood & Morgan Park »

December 17, 2014

Coach Who Claimed Jackie Robinson West Cheated Says He Has 'No Regrets'

Evergreen Park's Chris Janes hopes Little League continues to investigate the alleged rule violations.

Beverly, Mt. Greenwood & Morgan Park »

December 16, 2014

Jackie Robinson West Broke Residency Rules, Suburban League Claims

The Evergreen Park Athletic Assoc. complained to Little League International about the national champs.

Wicker Park & Bucktown »

December 12, 2014

Tony Fitzpatrick's Christmas Party Art Sale Set For Saturday In Wicker Park

The Black Shamrock Press Christmas Party features work by local artists ranging from $100 to $1,500.

Garfield Park & North Lawndale »

December 11, 2014

Police to Suspend Officer Who Blared 'Sweet Home Alabama' During Protest

"We cannot condone any behavior that may be viewed as disruptive or disrespectful to any protestor."

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

December 11, 2014

Kiss-Kindlemarket? YouTube Star's Mistletoe Stunt Scores Big at Daley Plaza

Blake Grigsby, Chicago's lovably awkward kissing bandit, shoots for YouTube gold with a new video.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

December 10, 2014

Employees Beware: Company Holiday Parties Are Making a Comeback

Only bad things can happen while twerking at the office Christmas party — and more advice you'll forget.

Jefferson Park, Portage Park & Norwood Park »

December 10, 2014

'No-Budget' Indie Comedy to Premiere at Patio Theater

A comedy about a 20-something woman suffering an identity crisis will premiere at the theater Saturday.