John O'Brien is a Senior Editor for DNAinfo Chicago.
A native of south suburban Oak Lawn, O'Brien went to Brother Rice High School in Chicago, which still refuses to mention him along with other famous alumni like actor John C. Reilly, dancer Michael Flatley and REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and to this day he maintains that occasional classmate Raghib Ismail got screwed out of the 1990 Heisman Trophy. He went on to get a master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting at what's now known as the University of Illinois at Springfield, and would like to point out it was many, many years after DNAinfo Chicago coworker Andrew Herrmann did so.
O'Brien comes to DNAinfo Chicago from Sun-Times Media, where he was most recently Managing Editor of the SouthtownStar and Herald-News of Joliet. During his 15 years with the company, he also worked in the news, sports and features departments at the Daily Southtown and later SouthownStar, and spent two years working to coordinate suburban news coverage among all Sun-Times Media papers. Prior to joining the Southtown in 1998, O'Brien spent more than four years at The News-Gazette of Urbana-Champaign, working as a reporter and bureau chief in the city of Danville.
Fun fact: O'Brien was named the Junior Citizen of the Year by the Chicago Jaycees in 1988, and has spent the last 25 years refusing to answer their calls asking for the award back.