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.

Chicago »

November 20, 2014

Radio Extra: Konkol Joins WGN's 'Bill and Wendy' To Discuss Rahm Ads

Mark Konkol was a guest on WGN's "Bill and Wendy Show" to discuss Mayor Emanuel's first campaign ad. 

Lincoln Square, Albany Park & Irving Park »

November 20, 2014

Spiteful's Absinthe Barrel-Aged Beer Might Be Chicago's Strangest Brew

Spiteful Brewing gave its saison-style beer an anise-flavored kick ... with cherries on top.

Pilsen, Little Village, Near West Side »

November 19, 2014

Emanuel's First Campaign Ad Touts Battle Against Pilsen Coal Plants

Mayor Emanuel's first campaign ad stars woman who helped shut down Pilsen coal plant.

Jefferson Park, Portage Park & Norwood Park »

November 19, 2014

Worried About Squatters on Your Block? Online Alerts Could Tip You Off

But Mac users shut out of Cook County's "fraud alert system" that helps neighbors rat out squatters.

Pullman & Roseland »

November 18, 2014

Root Brothers Closes Roseland Hardware Store After 91 Years

The Root family has decided to close the retail store that opened in 1923.

Wicker Park & Bucktown »

November 17, 2014

Real Chicago Fire Heroes Quietly End Made-For-TV Careers

KONKOL: Dan Fabrizio and Steve Chikerotis proudly leave the Fire Department better than they found it.

Pilsen, Little Village, Near West Side »

November 14, 2014

Celebrate National Spicy Guacamole Day With These Guac Picks

Had a rough week? A margarita and some guacamole will heal you.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

November 14, 2014

Jane Byrne, Chicago's Only Female Mayor, Dead at 81

Byrne was remembered as a "pioneer," who oversaw the first Taste of Chicago and Pride Parade.