John Kass

Columnist Chicago Tribune

The son of a Greek immigrant grocer, Kass was born June 23, 1956, on Chicago's South Side and grew up there and in Oak Lawn. He held a number of jobs — merchant marine sailor, ditch digger, waiter — before becoming a film student at Columbia College in Chicago, where he worked at the student newspaper. He obtained an internship at the Daily Calumet in 1980, and ended up working there as a reporter until he left for the Tribune in 1983. He has won honors including the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi national award for general column writing, the Scripps Howard Foundation's National Journalism Award for commentary, the Chicago Headline Club's Lisagor Award for best daily newspaper columnist and the Chicago Tribune's Beck Award for writing. He lives in the western suburbs with his wife and twin sons.

Recent Articles

  • Sanctuary city politics killed Kate Steinle

    Sanctuary city politics killed Kate Steinle

    The photograph is of a lovely young woman, with a warm smile on her face, a woman who loved and was loved in turn. Her name was Kate Steinle. The last words she said to her father before she died were “Help me, Dad.” So look at that photo. See the promise in her face. Some are calling her a symbol...

  • Jumping off the crazy news bus

    Jumping off the crazy news bus

    The news bus we’re on lately is so insane, so priapic and just plain nutso, that today I’m going to jump off and walk. Geoffrey Rush? Geoffrey Rush? Who’s next? And someone is claiming that Sulu from Star Trek is not a faithful helmsman? Every seat in this crazy news bus is packed with perverts...

  • A gift to Democratic congresswoman who stood above partisanship

    A gift to Democratic congresswoman who stood above partisanship

    I don’t know U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, a former prosecutor and Democrat of New York. But I would like to give her a gift. Why? Because she’s been extremely impressive, taking a stand on Democratic sexual predators in Congress, having the guts to call out members of her own Democratic Party. Rice...

  • The dance of Luis, Chuy and Rahm is no coincidence

    The dance of Luis, Chuy and Rahm is no coincidence

    When it comes to Chicago mayoral politics, do you believe in coincidences? Some of you who’ve been watching the recent public dance of Luis, Chuy and Rahm may believe in coincidences. That’s unfortunate. Because only children believe in coincidences, and a few opium-smoking poets, and perhaps the...

  • Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man returns with some last-minute tips

    Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man returns with some last-minute tips

    Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man is back, but not by popular demand. He’s back by urgent necessity, so your Thanksgiving celebrations aren’t ruined by shrieks of pain when your guests — who’ll no doubt insist on talking politics — begin stabbing each other in the forehead with forks. Forks in the forehead...

  • Charlie Rose, the time for honoring yourself is at an end

    Charlie Rose, the time for honoring yourself is at an end

    Creepy old Charlie Rose has been fired, another in what appears now to be a never-ending line of older, more powerful men sexually harassing young women. Rose, famed but now terminated PBS and CBS broadcaster, is of a generation of celebrity geezers who thought status could shield them from consequences....

  • Harold Washington's death 30 years ago marked end of Chicago's black political power

    Harold Washington's death 30 years ago marked end of Chicago's black political power

    Harold Washington, Chicago’s charismatic first black mayor, died 30 years ago on the day before Thanksgiving. He was a remarkable man, a child of the Chicago Democratic Machine who broke that machine to his will. But I suspect that in some retrospectives, one thing might be lost. And I don’t want...

  • Sen. Franken should take a long walk along the shores of frozen Lake Wobegon

    Sen. Franken should take a long walk along the shores of frozen Lake Wobegon

    Those popping sounds you hear aren’t lightbulbs breaking as they hit the frozen surface of Lake Wobegon. Instead, that sound comes from political heads exploding in the Democratic Media Complex. Because liberal Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota was exposed, completely, for what he really...

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