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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.

Pilsen, Little Village, Near West Side »

August 26, 2015

A Year In Jail For Stealing Toothpaste? New Law Frees Poor Chicago Inmates

The "Rocket Docket" law requires the release of some non-violent petty criminals after 30 days in jail.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

August 25, 2015

Listen to Tuesday's Top DNAinfo Radio Stories

DNAinfo Radio offers the story behind the story, told by the reporters in Chicago's neighborhoods. 

Beverly, Mt. Greenwood & Morgan Park »

August 25, 2015

The Team That Jackie Robinson West Beat Gets Belated Trip to World Series

The Indiana team, awarded the Great Lakes title after JRW scandal, finally got its trip to Williamsport.

Lakeview & Wrigleyville »

August 24, 2015

Wrigleyville Is Chicago's Public Urination Capital, Data Shows

Since 2013, police issued 77 tickets at 940 W. Addison that netted $20,750 in fines.

Lakeview & Wrigleyville »

August 24, 2015

The Worst Chicago Spots for Public Urination: 'They Just Don't Care' (MAP)

Since increasing penalties in 2013, city levies $6 million in fines for peeing in public, data shows.

Austin & Belmont Cragin »

August 20, 2015

$6,000 Death Notice Uniquely Captures Inspiring Life Story of a Regular Guy

The remarkably ordinary life of a Chicago bricklayer, the late Carl Ray Edenhofer, gets ink it deserved.

Englewood, Auburn Gresham & Chatham »

August 19, 2015

After 50 Years, Seven Families Still Live On Chicago's 'Block That Works'

Old-school values — and lots of phone calls — helps tight-knit neighbors keep close tabs on their block.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

August 18, 2015

Listen to Tuesday's Top DNAinfo Radio Stories

DNAinfo Radio offers the story behind the story, told by the reporters in Chicago's neighborhoods.