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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 109-120
  • Mob trial hits on badge, buried secrets

    How do 18 Chicago Outfit murders remain unsolved for decades? It might help to have the cops on your side.This came out in the opening statement by Assistant U.S. Atty. John Scully in the historic Family Secrets trial, when Scully pointed at one of the...
  • Don't ask mayor to discuss 'Secrets'

    As Outfit killer Nick Calabrese was testifying Wednesday about murders, about the killings of gangsters Tony and Michael Spilotro, about Tony asking to say a prayer before dying and about holy pictures burning in Nick's cupped hands during an Outfit...
  • Fear, not passion, drove Outfit killer

    Even Outfit hit men have feelings. They can strangle tiny pet shop mice, fixing tiny nooses around their necks and hanging them from your windshield wipers as a warning. But that's work, not fun.They can kill human beings with bats and ropes, though...
  • Required reading: Closing argument

    As the Family Secrets trial was put into the hands of the jury, City Hall offered up poetic symmetry in choosing a book for all Chicagoans to read as part of its One-Book-One-Chicago program: "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller, a social commentary about...
  • Case closed, but coffin on Outfit isn't

    Is the Chicago Outfit dead, now that the historic Family Secrets trial has ended? No.How can you kill a thing that has lived for almost a century in this town, wrapping itself throughout the city's infrastructure, developing arteries for nutrients,...
  • 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...
  • Outfit bosses dive for cover as enforcer talks

    Until recently, the bosses of the Chicago Outfit felt relatively safe, with their connections in politics and local law enforcement. But now, they're on the verge of FBI-inspired paranoia.They're not concerned where fellow mob boss Joey "The Clown"...
  • One witness at a time, feds turning up heat

    With her nice black suit and pearls at her throat, Andrea Coutretsis Prokos, political girlfriend and alleged perjurer, was properly dressed for federal court. But she might as well have worn a pair of those sandwich signs, front and back, because she'...
  • FBI digs not just for body, but for mob secrets too

    When the FBI began carefully digging on the edge of the parking lot at White Sox park on Tuesday, they were looking for: a) The wooden leg of the late Sox owner Bill Veeck.b) The wooden leg of the late Sox pitcher Monty Stratton. c) An extremely late...
  • DNA test could have Outfit guys grinding teeth

    Discovering a human tooth in Bridgeport is like finding a seashell at the seashore: Find a seashell, and chances are that you're at the beach. Find a tooth, and you could be in the tough ancestral home of Chicago mayors and Chicago Outfit muscle, where...
  • Bring on lights, camera--we've got mob action

    If you care about movies, you've probably noticed that Illinois politicians from the mayor to the governor have been eagerly promoting Chicago as a setting for Hollywood movies. Their press agents have ginned up story after story about the importance...
  • Mob charges tell a story, but more isn't told

    How could the Chicago Outfit prosper and survive without the help of corrupt local police, politicians and judges? U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald didn't answer me Monday."All I'll say is that the indictment alleges that the Outfit, as part of its method...