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.

South Chicago & East Side »

October 31, 2014

East Side Seniors and Veterans Honored at Free Dinner Saturday

For first time, the 10th Ward free spaghetti dinner honors neighborhood seniors and veterans.  

Midway, Chicago Lawn & Ashburn »

October 30, 2014

Radio Extra: 90-Year-Old Celebrating Seventy Years in Camera Business

Joe Herbert has run Marquette Photo Supply for 70 years, and the 90-year-old plans to keep going. 

Midway, Chicago Lawn & Ashburn »

October 30, 2014

Marquette Photo Supply's 90-Year-Old Owner Celebrates 70th Year In Business

Joe Herbert said running his camera shop keeps him sharp, focused and happy to go to work.

Englewood, Auburn Gresham & Chatham »

October 28, 2014

Radio Extra: Former Millionare Crack Dealer Talks Ahead of Documentary

Norman Tillman discussed his former life as a crack dealer on Chicago's streets with Mark Konkol.

Englewood, Auburn Gresham & Chatham »

October 28, 2014

'Freeway Boy' Who Brought Crack to Chicago Regrets Damage Done to Hometown

Chicago native Norman Tillman hopes to make amends by helping ex-cons, "crackheads" rebuild lives.

Pullman & Roseland »

October 27, 2014

Learn How To Save On Heating Bills At Pre-Winter Workshop

A Home winterization and fire safety workshop set for Gately Park.

Pullman & Roseland »

October 26, 2014

Scary Chicago Tales Are Even Scarier in the Dark at Pullman Historic Site

Theatre-Hikes performs "Resurrected: Grave Chicago Tales" on a "hike" near the Pullman clock tower.

South Chicago & East Side »

October 24, 2014

Radio Extra: Father and Son Team Up To Open Conceal Carry Institute

Anthony and Tony Burmistrz say they opened the Chicagoland Conceal Carry Institute for the neighborhood.