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

  • In 'Darkest Hour,' Churchill refuses to bend the knee

    In 'Darkest Hour,' Churchill refuses to bend the knee

    The two questions most people ask about a new movie are: Do I really want to see it? And, is it worth the price? “Darkest Hour,” the film starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, is definitely worth seeing now, not later. It is worth the price. And it is required. Because in a West under siege,...

  • Christmas shopping at the mall: Taming the demon children

    Christmas shopping at the mall: Taming the demon children

    Politics is like cafeteria food, just one forkful too much and you get ill. So I skipped politics and went to the movies instead, and before the show I hit the mall, searching for a good 20-quart stockpot. That’s when I ran into the poor mom on the verge of a breakdown, all because of her evil...

  • Alabama reaffirms that character still counts in politics

    Alabama reaffirms that character still counts in politics

    Now that deep-red Alabama has elected pro-abortion Democrat Doug Jones to the Senate — defeating teen-trolling Republican Roy Moore — the air is full of severed political scalps. The scalp-waving thing is expected after such a historic defeat. And a Republican losing to a pro-abortion Democrat...

  • Mayoral possibles McCarthy and LaRaviere skip watching Rahm bathe in Colbert's love

    Mayoral possibles McCarthy and LaRaviere skip watching Rahm bathe in Colbert's love

    Given all the hype, you’d think everybody in Chicago watched Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s glorious performance on the Steven Colbert TV show the other night. Just to see Rahm glide out onstage, bathe in Colbertian love and do that thing he does with his finger, pointing joyously at the audience, was worth...

  • Claypool's departure caps week of sugarplums for Illinois taxpayers

    Claypool's departure caps week of sugarplums for Illinois taxpayers

    So much happened late last week that we might as well deal with three political sugarplums at once. ? A political amputation, as Chicago Public Schools boss Forrest Claypool was severed tearfully from the mayoral body politic by the noted political surgeon Dr. Rahm Emanuel. ? State Rep. Jeanne...

  • Al Franken as Senator Mr. Clean takes on the Dems' old sins

    Al Franken as Senator Mr. Clean takes on the Dems' old sins

    In his dramatic kinda-sorta almost resignation speech, Sen. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat accused of serial groping, isn’t really retiring. Not yet. First he’ll help Democrats forge a weapon against President Donald Trump and the Republicans for the 2018 midterm elections. So what is that...

  • We owe so very much to great teachers who shaped us

    We owe so very much to great teachers who shaped us

    I’ve been thinking about teachers lately, and how they leave their mark on their students, how they shape them. I had time to think about it the other evening, standing before a coffin at a wake for Gary Korhonen, the legendary football coach at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, a national coach...

  • Appalling moutza news from Greece

    Appalling moutza news from Greece

    Before we award the Golden Moutza of November, some appalling (and horrifying) international moutza news just crossed my desk. Greece, which invented the moutza — the famous open-hand gesture signifying disgust and contempt — is now planning to fine taxi drivers who dare use the moutza in traffic....

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