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

  • No sugar rush for Taxwinkle's Democrats

    No sugar rush for Taxwinkle's Democrats

    What ever happened to Toni Preckwinkle? The Cook County Board president was once almost impervious to criticism, respected if not beloved, that woman with the big glasses and clunky shoes. For years she clomped around Democratic politics like a stern liberal librarian who knew what books were good...

  • 'Game of Thrones' and the Pandora affliction

    'Game of Thrones' and the Pandora affliction

    Ever since evil hackers scattered the secrets of HBO's "Game of Thrones" out into the internet like so many handfuls of corn, the world has been divided. On one side are the virtuous purists who refuse to spoil it for themselves. We don't want to know what will happen in the remainder of the season....

  • What's so funny about Kim Jong Un?

    What's so funny about Kim Jong Un?

    I guess there's nothing like a crazy little fat guy armed with nuclear weapons that can strike America to set off a series of good jokes. Because what's funnier, really, than the potential for thermonuclear war? And now the internet is full of hilarious takes and memes with Kim Jong Un's threats...

  • Sanctuary cities, Rahm and power politics

    Sanctuary cities, Rahm and power politics

    Before Mayor Rahm Emanuel feuded with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal immigration policy, before sanctuary city politics and long before Donald Trump became president, a man they didn't know was standing at a street corner in Chicago. Dennis McCann, an insurance broker, was about to...

  • Politicians to pay, literally, for tax-happy cliches

    Politicians to pay, literally, for tax-happy cliches

    Toni Taxwinkle's ridiculous and unfair pop tax — one cent per ounce on sweetened beverages sold in Cook County — must be met with a serious response. So from now on, let's have another law: Any politician who promotes a tax increase by mouthing ridiculous, idiotic cliches like "It's for the children,"...

  • Without Trump, Pritzker and Rahm would be lonely, sad and a bit lost

    Without Trump, Pritzker and Rahm would be lonely, sad and a bit lost

    What would Illinois Democrats do without President Donald Trump? Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and billionaire J.B. Pritzker — the choice of boss Democrats for governor — spend their time talking and talking and talking about Trump. With J.B. and Rahm it's Trump this and Trump that. And they speak...

  • July moutzas multiply like rabbits, but only one can be chosen

    July moutzas multiply like rabbits, but only one can be chosen

    There were so many worthy idiots for the July Moutza of the Month — multiplying in waves like meat-eating zombie rabbits — that some readers crumbled under the stress of picking just one. From President Donald Trump's fired White House communications chief, Anthony "Mooch the Chooch" Scaramucci,...

  • Can new White House chief of staff impose discipline where it counts?

    Can new White House chief of staff impose discipline where it counts?

    President Donald Trump's new chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, has a seemingly impossible task ahead of him. He's expected to impose discipline on the festering sump of jealousy, envy and intrigue that is the Trump White House. It's one thing to impose discipline on White House staffers...

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