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 »

April 20, 2015

New Dark Lord Hot Sauce To Heat Up Annual Three Floyds Beer Fest

Three Floyds chef Pat Niebling used peppers from barrel-aged Dark Lord to make hot sauce.

Downtown, South Loop & River North »

April 17, 2015

What Is the Great Kinzie Protected Bike Lane Fight Really About Anyway?

Bike lane fight shows that an idealistic war over how drivers and cyclists share city streets rages on.

Englewood, Auburn Gresham & Chatham »

April 16, 2015

Spike Lee Wants a $3 Million Tax Break for Film That Calls Chicago 'Chiraq'

Ald. Will Burns (4th) said if Spike Lee takes film subsidy, the public should have a say in film's name.

Pullman & Roseland »

April 15, 2015

The Method Man: Adam Lowry Hopes Soap Factory Helps Clean Up Far South Side

Method soap plant in Pullman Park is the first new factory to open on the South Side in about 30 years.

Pullman & Roseland »

April 14, 2015

Planners Dreaming Up What's Next for Pullman National Monument

Renowned urban planner Richard Wilson to lead brainstorming workshop for Pullman National Monument.

Bridgeport, Chinatown & McKinley Park »

April 10, 2015

Winning City Council Seat Won't Earn Daley Nephew Front Row At Sox Opener

But alderman-elect Patrick Daley Thompson will have to miss this year.

Englewood, Auburn Gresham & Chatham »

April 9, 2015

Poor, Black Chicagoans Overwhelmingly Picked Rahm Over Chuy

“The swing voters were mainly black voters. There was no black candidate. They had to make a choice."

Englewood, Auburn Gresham & Chatham »

April 9, 2015

Chuy's Defeat Proves Once Again That Nice Guys Finish Last

Rahm "constantly talked about Chuy being someone that can’t manage the big problems with the city"