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

  • New focus on Clinton, dossier on Trump rocks Democratic Media Complex

    New focus on Clinton, dossier on Trump rocks Democratic Media Complex

    If success has a thousand fathers and failure has none, then who’s the daddy of the Fusion GPS story now rocking the Democratic Media Complex? Lest you condemn me as a “science denier,” let’s stipulate there must be at least two parents, or maybe even three. According to the Washington Post, the...

  • At traffic court with Susana Mendoza, waiting for 'Quarters' Boyle

    At traffic court with Susana Mendoza, waiting for 'Quarters' Boyle

    We were waiting for John “Quarters” Boyle outside traffic court — wondering if Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx would upgrade the charges against him — when somebody started in with the political stories. OK, I confess, it was me. I started with the political stories, about those missing millions...

  • As Cubs fans mourn, a Sox bar flies the 'L'

    As Cubs fans mourn, a Sox bar flies the 'L'

    There was great sadness the other night when the Cubs’ 2017 World Series dream died at the hands of the Dodgers. My Cubs fan brothers were deeply saddened, as were friends at work. I tried to soothe their grief, but for some odd reason, I couldn’t console them. And all other Cubs fans all across...

  • Fifty Shades of Rahm

    Fifty Shades of Rahm

    If there’s one guy who’s all about measuring pain and pleasure, it’s Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Yes, I didn’t believe it either, thinking the Rahmfather wasn’t into pain and pleasure as much as he was into ruling from his iron throne on the 5th Floor of City Hall. But there it was in quotes. “I...

  • What if the NFL were a diner?

    What if the NFL were a diner?

    What if the NFL wasn’t a troubled multibillion-dollar business desperate to wriggle out of its national anthem kneeling crisis? Instead, what if the NFL were a small business, like a diner? A nice NFL diner with waitresses named Doris and Stella. And a grill man named Jerry, who did a bit for burglary...

  • Chicago's gang wars claim the life of a teacher

    Chicago's gang wars claim the life of a teacher

    The street gangs of Chicago killed a teacher the other day as she walked with her husband near their home in Rogers Park. Cynthia Trev?illion, 64, was gunned down as she and her husband, John, were walking near the “L” stop on Morse Avenue. She’s another innocent victim of the Chicago street gang...

  • Searching for a safe space in Cubslandia

    Searching for a safe space in Cubslandia

    With the Cubs facing the Dodgers in the NLCS, you know what will happen in Chicago. Everywhere you look, everything you hear will be Cubs this, Cubs that. Cubs, Go Cubs Go! Cubbies! And, as is typical when the Cubs are in the playoffs, many journalists will clap frantically for the Cubs, just like...

  • A garden's end

    A garden's end

    When some see the bleak photo of my garden picked clean, the stakes stuck into the ground like so many bones, they’re puzzled if not worried. One guy wondered if it was an announcement of a change-of-seasons column, some writerly business about fine weather gone and October rains. No, I said. Winter...

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