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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 »

May 22, 2015

Latino Firefighters Bullied Into Taking Race-Based Promotions, They Say

But the Fire Department said race-based "out-of-rank promotions" shouldn't carry a negative stigma.

Pullman & Roseland »

May 20, 2015

Plan for New Pullman Cafe Might Not Sound Like a Big Deal ... But It Is

Artist Ian Lantz says he's won city approval to open Pullman Cafe as community gathering place.

Beverly, Mt. Greenwood & Morgan Park »

May 19, 2015

Emily Beazley Remembered in Neighborhood Displays, Social Media Tributes

Emily Beazley's neighborhood remains a sea of purple and green after her death.

Pilsen, Little Village, Near West Side »

May 18, 2015

Noisy, Inappropriate, Smelly Blackhawks Fans Annoy This California Writer

Fighting Words: Orange County Register's Jeff Miller says Hawks fans stink worse than Red Wings fans.

Pullman & Roseland »

May 18, 2015

Jackie Robinson West Replaces Little League With Babe Ruth 'Real Baseball'

South Side kids returned to Jackie Robinson West for the first Opening Day under the Babe Ruth banner.

Logan Square & Humboldt Park »

May 16, 2015

8 Stories You May Have Missed This Week

Chicago pizza guide, abandoned bunnies and a sadly dry Humboldt Beach, among others.

Englewood, Auburn Gresham & Chatham »

May 15, 2015

Will Spike Lee's 'Chiraq' Depict a Sex Strike to End All Gang Wars?

Whatever the film is about, Ald. Will Burns still hates the "Chiraq" title and wants Lee to change it.

Beverly, Mt. Greenwood & Morgan Park »

May 15, 2015

Jackie Robinson West Set For First Opening Day Since Little League Divorce

White Sox mascot, South Paw, and Jesse White Tumblers on tap for JRW's Opening Day games on Sunday.