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.

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.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

September 18, 2014

A Tourist in My Own Town: A Tale of Two Summers in Chicago

MARK KONKOL: This year, I decided to take an exotic vacation in an exciting American city ... Chicago.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

September 17, 2014

'The Homestretch' Shows the Struggle of Chicago's Homeless School Kids

Filmmakers Kirsten Kelly and Anne de Mare spent five years following the lives of homeless CPS students.

Wicker Park & Bucktown »

September 15, 2014

Three Floyds To Stop Bottling Pride and Joy, Start Shipping Yum Yum IPA

Three Floyds' Pride and Joy ends 19-year run in six-packs to make room for a new flavor, Yum Yum.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

September 12, 2014

Steve Gadlin Wants To Make a Really Weird Late Night TV Show for You

The guy behind "I Want To Draw A Cat For You" turns to Kickstarter to fund "Steve Gadlin's Star Makers."

Lincoln Park & Old Town »

September 11, 2014

Tony Fitzpatrick's 'The Midnight City' Asks 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go?'

MARK KONKOL: Artist Tony Fitzpatrick brings his life's next crossroads to the Steppenwolf Garage stage.

Lincoln Park & Old Town »

September 10, 2014

Plot To Lift Menu Signed by Royko, Terkel Foiled by Chef Jackie Shen

"Fusion Queen" Jackie Shen, a celeb chef before our city became a culinary mecca, opened a new joint.