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John Kass

Columnist

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

  • Politicians never let a good crisis go to waste

    Politicians never let a good crisis go to waste

    In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, the Democrats applied a law that serves them well: "Never let a good crisis go to waste." So they used the bodies of the dead as leverage for their politics and framed the national debate in terms of gun control rather than terrorism inspired by the radical...

  • Hillary Clinton's lies can't survive the age of social media

    Hillary Clinton's lies can't survive the age of social media

    Hillary Clinton should be thankful that her career as America's truth bender began long before social media really got going. When she started dropping those big fat fibs of hers, there was no Facebook or Twitter, no army of Internet trolls to unleash at her enemies, and no emails to be mysteriously...

  • Obama puts his thumb on the scale for Hillary

    Obama puts his thumb on the scale for Hillary

    President Barack Obama once said he regrets not learning to play a musical instrument. Yet with those long, thin fingers of his, you can imagine him as a cellist, maybe a pianist, or perhaps he'd be playing some mournful and mischievous notes on an oboe. But the other day in an exclusive interview...

  • Strategy to fight terrorism needs to become part of presidential debate

    Strategy to fight terrorism needs to become part of presidential debate

    American presidential politics are certainly vulgar and loud, but what happened in Brussels reminds us that terrorism is politics too. Terrorism is the politics of bodies and blood and the screams of the innocent asking why. The West has been taught this again and again, and Tuesday the lesson...

  • Iowa caucuses a week away, and both parties spilling blood

    Iowa caucuses a week away, and both parties spilling blood

    It's a good thing America is concentrating on the truly big news stories: Like #OscarsSoWhite from #HollywoodSoLiberal. And the head-smacking drama of the National Concussion League. But before our presidential candidates do any more harm to what a few of us still consider the republic, what of...

  • 'Concussion' a strong counterpoint to NFL glory

    'Concussion' a strong counterpoint to NFL glory

    The NFL playoffs will be on TV in millions of American homes this weekend. Mom and dad in their jerseys, kids in their team gear, snacks on the coffee table, beer in the fridge, everybody reaching for something, the eyes of the family eager for impact -- a truly American scene. Advertisers and...

  • Threats to schools and a question for parents

    Threats to schools and a question for parents

    After breakfast you're about to put the kids on the bus when you hear about a note that threatens terrorism at your children's school. There isn't much time to ponder, just like there wasn't much time for reflection early Tuesday when the threats to school systems in New York City and Los Angelescame...

  • Paris attacks are cause to punish real enemies, not invent false ones

    Paris attacks are cause to punish real enemies, not invent false ones

    If you stand out on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in the evening -- on that Magnificent Mile we also call Boul Mich -- you'll hear many languages spoken on our most international of streets: Italian and German, Russian and Turkish, Chinese, Arabic and many other tongues, including that most beautiful...

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