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

  • Madigan and the 'changing' culture in Springfield

    Madigan and the 'changing' culture in Springfield

    For everyone who’s been outraged about sexual harassment since those stories broke about Hollywood producer Harvey (aka The Fat Sexy Beast) Weinstein, let me give you some soothing Illinois political news: Illinois lawmakers were scheduled to undergo their own sexual harassment awareness training...

  • A good man with a gun did what he had to do in Texas

    A good man with a gun did what he had to do in Texas

    What made former National Rifle Association instructor Stephen Willeford— a good man with a gun — rush forward, barefoot, to confront a killer? What made him do what had to be done in Sutherland Springs,Texas? The political left is clearly bothered by Willeford, bothered that he’s anywhere near...

  • Oxtail stifatho, the Chicago way, a comforting break from politics

    Oxtail stifatho, the Chicago way, a comforting break from politics

    November is wet and cold and December is worse. Winter is coming. But let me give you just one simple word of warmth and comfort: Oxtails. “Oxtails. Is that your Sunday topic?” an editor asked. “What is it?” Ambrosia, I said. “You are being purposely sphinxlike,” he said. A sphinx was a dangerous...

  • Golden Moutza of October is like a Hollywood Oscar, only better

    Golden Moutza of October is like a Hollywood Oscar, only better

    Harvey Weinstein? Your pal Woody Allen said he was sad that you’re sad. Blow on it, Woody. And Kirk Head, the rude Astros fan. And Kevin Spacey, and everyone who gave out Candy Corn or Bit-O-Honey for Halloween. Those race-baiting Democrats in the Virginia governor’s campaign, with their TV spot...

  • The language of Islamic terror in America

    The language of Islamic terror in America

    The critical thing about confronting evil is to call it by its rightful name. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo decided to call alleged truck terrorist Sayfullo Saipov a “lone wolf.” “All the evidence we have suggests that he was acting alone," said Cuomo. "The so-called 'Lone Wolf syndrome.'” Lone...

  • Putin's great American spy novel

    Putin's great American spy novel

    Americans don't think of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin as a man of letters. We don't see him as a literary man, but as a man of action, at least in his own mind. In Putin-approved photos, he wrestles wild beasts and bends them to his severe Russian will. He rides horses with his shirt off, that...

  • The great pumpkin betrayal

    The great pumpkin betrayal

    Before I tell you how my once-beloved grandmother betrayed me and ruined Halloween forever, here’s a quick word of warning: Adults have ruined just about everything else in the world, and now they’re hellbent on ruining Halloween, too. Those sexy adult Halloween costumes and the “Halloween is for...

  • Chicago Fire season ends, but there's no need to eat crow

    Chicago Fire season ends, but there's no need to eat crow

    With the Chicago Fire getting run out of the playoffs in a 4-0 butt-whipping courtesy of the New York Red Bulls on national television, some evil demons suggested I try a new recipe: Crow. Fried crow, crow on a stick, crow braised with pearl onions. Or perhaps a savory crow pie, the humble kind...

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