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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.

Bronzeville & Washington Park »

May 24, 2016

KONKOL: First detective test in 12 years stirs up complaints, controversy over police promotion process.

Pullman & Roseland »

May 20, 2016

Lee McCullum Jr.'s life and death is an example of how difficult it is for kids to escape street life.

South Chicago & East Side »

May 19, 2016

KONKOL: As Chicago endures period of civil unrest remember our leaders, like us, are imperfectly human.

Bronzeville & Washington Park »

May 18, 2016

KONKOL: Chicagoans deserve facts, not fables from Mayor Emanuel's hand-picked police superintendent.

Pullman & Roseland »

May 13, 2016

Lee McCullum Sr. says the mayor's call "made me feel good" to know Emanuel was "thinking about my son."

Pullman & Roseland »

May 13, 2016

Former Fenger student Lee McCullum, talked about trying to escape city violence in a CNN documentary.

Pullman & Roseland »

May 13, 2016

KONKOL: Chicagoans are "desensitized to what is happening and it’s insane," Liz Dozier says.

Bronzeville & Washington Park »

May 12, 2016

KONKOL: Deputy Supt. Eugene Williams is set to retire in good standing at age 63 on May 21.