Dan Rodricks has been an award-winning columnist for the Baltimore Sun since 1979, and speaks of his adopted hometown as both its champion and its scold. He has observed local, state and national political trends for three decades.
His "Dear Drug Dealers" series in The Sun, a public call for an end to criminal violence in Baltimore bolstered by his one-man campaign to provide jobs or job training for ex-offenders, won the 2006 Excellence in Urban Journalism Award from the Freedom Forum and the Enterprise Foundation. His series, which exposed the obstacles that paroled felons face in finding jobs, was cited on national television and radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. It won the 2005 Public Service award from the Chesapeake Associated Press. In 2006, he was named Public Citizen of the Year by the Maryland chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Readers and editors of the City Paper and Baltimore Magazine repeatedly have cited Dan's column consistently as Baltimore's Best.
Over a 25-year-period, his Evening Sun and Sun columns garnered several regional journalism awards as well as four national ones. Dan won the 2001 Headliner Award for column writing and the 1984 Heywood Broun Award from the Newspaper Guild, which cited him for newspaper writing that championed the underdog. Dan's column also has been cited in regional journalism competitions as the best local column in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Three times in recent years, including 2002, his columns were named "Best in Show" in the annual competition of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.
Both the City Paper and Baltimore Magazine gave high marks to Dan's live, local-interest television show, "Rodricks For Breakfast," which aired on WMAR-TV from 1995 until 1999. For two hours each Sunday morning, the show, a unique talk-variety program that emanated from a nostalgic kitchen that resembled the set of a Barry Levinson movie, celebrated Baltimore and Maryland life and culture. The cancellation of the show was listed in the April 2004 Style magazine as one of "10 decisions that changed Baltimore -- and not for the better."
Dan's other television work included a weekly stint as a feature reporter/commentator on WBAL-TV, from 1980 until 1993. His Street Talk and Rodricks At-Large feature stories won several regional journalism awards. Dan has also written and narrated programs for Maryland Public Television.
From 1989 until 1993, Dan hosted a nightly talk show on WBAL-Radio, as well as a five-hour Saturday morning show that ran until 1995. More than interviews and conversations with listeners, Dan's shows involved unique undertakings. His radio documentaries won acclaim, as well as the Silver Medal in an international broadcast competition in 1993. Listeners will recall some of Dan's popular radio features, including "Along The River," an outdoors travelogue and natural history, "Country Life Farm," a visit to a Maryland thoroughbred farm, "900 E. 33rd St.," a radio elegy to Memorial Stadium, "A Western Maryland Winter," and "The Greatest Game Never Played," a Chuck Thompson-Rex Barney play-by-play of a fictional game between the greatest Yankees and greatest Orioles.
A collection of Dan's columns, "Mencken Doesn't Live Here Anymore," was published in 1989, and in 1998 he authored, "Baltimore: Charm City," a celebration of Baltimore featuring the work of several accomplished photographers.
Dan also has performed in semi-professional theater in Baltimore. His stage credits include: Young Victorian Theater Co., Samuel, The Pirates of Penzance, 1986; Monterrarat, Iolanthe, 1986; Shadbolt, The Yeoman of the Guard, 1987; Koko, The Mikado, 1988; Sir Joseph Porter, HMS Pinafore, 2001; and for Action Theater: Charlie, Death of a Salesman, 1999. His performance in Pinafore was voted one of the Top Ten of the year by the City Paper.
Dan has lived in the Baltimore area since 1976, in the city since 1987. He grew up in East Bridgewater, Mass., and graduated from East Bridgewater High School in 1972. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut; he graduated summa cum laude and was voted outstanding journalism student in 1976. He was editor of his college newspaper, and interned professionally at The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., The Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y, and The Evening Sun in Baltimore. He was a Newspaper Fund scholar in 1975.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun