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.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

April 22, 2014

Roger Ebert Documentary 'Life Itself' Picked for Cannes Film Festival

Chicago filmmaker Steve James and Kartemquin Films make their Cannes debut.

Wicker Park & Bucktown »

April 22, 2014

Three Floyds Changes Dark Lord Recipe, Adds Dark Matter's 'Unicorn Blood'

Dark Matter Coffee owner Jesse Diaz roasted "Unicorn Blood" espresso with Three Floyds Brewery in mind.

Wicker Park & Bucktown »

April 18, 2014

Three Floyds to Expand Production, Distill Dark Lord Whiskey

Doubling beer production in three years still won't meet demand for Three Floyds at Chicago bars.

Beverly & Mt. Greenwood »

April 16, 2014

Drew Brees Makes First Communion Special for St. Cajetan Bears Fan

KONKOL: Brees can't make Bubba Ludwig's first Communion party, but his autograph made up for it.

Wicker Park & Bucktown »

April 14, 2014

Smoke Daddy's Beefy Bloody Mary a Family Tradition

The Wicker Park barbecue joint and its family bloody mary recipe have thrived on ever-changing Division.

Lincoln Park & Old Town »

April 11, 2014

Aurelio's Pizza's Triumphant Return to Chicago Starts at the Zoo

"We aim to get thin crust back on the map,” owner Joe Aurelio said.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

April 9, 2014

Studio Becomes Celebrity Hot Spot Amid Chicago Film Boom

Bam Studios in River North is part of the city's thriving film industry that flies under the radar.

Lincoln Square, Albany Park & Irving Park »

April 4, 2014

Family Leaving Historic City Dream Home

Ron and Robyn Schwartz's 1856 farmhouse was perfect until it was time for the kids to attend school.