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 »

July 29, 2014

Tony Fitzpatrick's Secret Birds Come Alive With Poems, Pigeons and Poi Dog

The Poetry Foundation is hosting artist Tony Fitzpatrick's last show of drawings in Chicago.

Bridgeport, Chinatown & McKinley Park »

July 28, 2014

Lesson From Frank Thomas' Hall of Fame Speech: Keep Your Head Down, Finish

Frank Thomas' hitting coach offered swing tips that double as life advice that's worth remembering.

Chicago »

July 25, 2014

Hadiya's Dad on Killings: 'Get Out in Your Neighborhood and Speak Out'

Despite Shamiya Adams' slaying, Nate Pendleton said residents can't be afraid of "irresponsible idiots."

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

July 25, 2014

DNAinfo on Fox Chicago: Mark Konkol Talks Smash-and-Grab Statistics

Writer at large Mark Konkol talked about his car burglary story on Fox Chicago.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

July 24, 2014

Towering Structure at Maggie Daley Park Offers Peek at Best Playground Ever

The "Play Pyramid" is part of city's largest playscape that includes "Slide Crater," awesome views.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

July 23, 2014

Do You Trust the Police? New Citywide Survey Wants to Know

Police teamed with UIC researchers to expand a survey of satisfaction with officers on the street.

Lincoln Park & Old Town »

July 21, 2014

Where Do Thieves 'Smash and Grab' the Most Parked Cars in Chicago?

Lincoln Park's 60614 ZIP Code has had the most car break-ins so far this year, police data shows.

Pilsen, Little Village, Near West Side »

July 18, 2014

Sunscreen Flasks, Other Gadgets You Might See at Pitchfork

The Sunscreen Flask — like the BeerBelly and Winerack — is the latest trendy booze-sneaking gadget.