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John Kass

John Kass
John Kass has covered a variety of topics since arriving at the Chicago Tribune in 1983.

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. There, he worked at the student newspaper and caught the attention of Daryle Feldmeir, chairman of the journalism department and former editor of the Chicago Daily News.

Feldmeir and journalism professor Les Brownlee helped him obtain an internship at the Daily Calumet in 1980, where Kass worked as a reporter until he left for the...
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John Kass has covered a variety of topics since arriving at the Chicago Tribune in 1983.

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. There, he worked at the student newspaper and caught the attention of Daryle Feldmeir, chairman of the journalism department and former editor of the Chicago Daily News.

Feldmeir and journalism professor Les Brownlee helped him obtain an internship at the Daily Calumet in 1980, where Kass worked as a reporter until he left for the Tribune.

In 2004, Kass was awarded 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 Press Club of Atlantic City's National Headliner Award for local interest column writing on a variety of subjects, and the Chicago Headline Club's Lisagor Award for best daily newspaper columnist.

In 1992, Kass won the Chicago Tribune's Beck Award for writing.

Kass lives in the western suburbs with his wife and twin sons. His column appears on Page A2 of the Chicago Tribune every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
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Top John Kass Articles

Displaying items 23-33
  • Honor freedom with a beer can, chicken

    Honor freedom with a beer can, chicken
    Nothing quite says 4th of July -- and American independence from unreasonable taxation and those intrusive federal regulations -- like a chicken with a beer can stuck up its behind, roasting silently over wood charcoal. Nothing. Cynics may call it a...
  • Hope smokes eternal when it's Chia-grown

    It sure is a good thing that the bumper Hopium crop from my Obama Chia heads has finally come in. And not a moment too soon, with all that anger this week over federal health care that won't increase the deficit one thin dime. Loyal readers know I've...
  • What's the stupidest thing Daley has ever said?

    One of the great debates in American politics can be summed up with this question: What's the stupidest thing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has ever said? One of my all-time favorites is when he threatened to take his pants off to prove his political...
  • Looking back at when race clouded City Hall

    Looking back at when race clouded City Hall
    Will Chicago once again become the city of tribes, racial and otherwise? There's plenty of talk about it in the aftermath of the announcement that Mayor Richard Daley will abdicate the throne. The concern is that the city will once again break along...
  • When Daley defeated his 'Mayor Chucky'

    At a news conference in 2009, Mayor Richard Daley battled with his inner Mayor Chucky. That's the terrifying mayoral persona that often reveals itself when he's angry. Daley's hair perspires and curls up in frightful wings over his ears. His face gets...
  • John Kass at scene of angry Athens protest

    John Kass at scene of angry Athens protest
    ATHENS -- It all started Wednesday morning when a man in Constitution Square reportedly shouted that he didn't want to leave his children in debt and then fatally shot himself in the head. The man, a 77-year-old retired pharmacist, instantly became a...
  • In Greece, books beat rocks

    In Greece, books  beat rocks
    ATHENS, Greece — It is easy to throw a rock, and there have been plenty thrown here lately, a common ritual, almost not newsworthy, with the anarchists and hooligans smashing big pieces of marble and throwing the chunks at police, at the government,...
  • 2 weeks, 2 countries, now time to come home

    2 weeks, 2 countries, now time to come home
    Before heading home after two weeks on the road, it was clear that I needed a shave and a haircut. What I didn't know is that I'd also get the famed ear flame treatment from a Turkish barber. Tribune photographer Chris Walker, my colleague who...
  • Saying goodbye to Greece — as hordes of young people do the same

    Saying goodbye to Greece — as hordes of young people do the same
    — I traveled to Greece to see the land of my fathers, to see its beauty and its economic crisis firsthand. But as I arrived, others were leaving. Especially Greece's young people, suffering from unemployment that hovers around 50 percent. "They...
  • Izmir bears testament to the procession of civilizations

    Izmir bears testament to the procession of civilizations
    IZMIR, Turkey — My grandfathers called this port city Smyrna, but the name of it came out of their mouths with regret and pain, because they remembered it as a Greek city, and the great fire and the unspeakable things that happened as the Greeks...
  • It's not where you start, but where you finish

    It's not where you start, but where you finish
    There were two Judge Zagels in the cavernous ceremonial federal courtroom on the 25th floor, each looking down on upon one desperate Rod Blagojevich. One was the Zagel on the wall, a portrait along with dozens of other such portraits of black-robed...