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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 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.

Recent Work

Employers Beg for Workers: ‘It’s the economy, stupid’
Opinions
Employers Beg for Workers: ‘It’s the economy, stupid’
May 12, 2021
by John Kass

Have you ever wondered what happens to flat-earthers? Not all spend their days eating pudding with plastic spoons and rewatching old sitcoms — or as fabulists hanging at the end of the bar, boasting of their heroic exploits until closing time. Some become president of the... Read More

Asian American Judge Challenges Racism Inherent in ‘Equity’
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Asian American Judge Challenges Racism Inherent in ‘Equity’
March 31, 2021
by John Kass

Have you read, heard or seen that important news story about an Asian American federal judge — born in Taiwan and subject to discrimination growing up — who confronted and denounced those who discriminate by race? No? With all that’s been in the news lately about... Read More

Erasing Classic Literature for Kids
Opinions
Erasing Classic Literature for Kids
February 3, 2021
by John Kass

When I was a boy about 11, I committed a crime that changed my life. I stole a book. I was a book thief. I found it in another kid’s desk and began reading, hiding it behind some boring textbook, and couldn’t give it up. And... Read More

When Politics Become too Personal: What We Didn’t Talk About at Sunday Dinner
Opinions
When Politics Become too Personal: What We Didn’t Talk About at Sunday Dinner
January 12, 2021
by John Kass

In the pre-COVID-19 days, there were those large, intergenerational Sunday dinners when nothing was off the table for discussion in America. Even now, if we were sitting down together, we’d talk of President Donald Trump lying to his supporters about overturning the election, before he incited... Read More

I Miss Going to the Movies
Opinions
I Miss Going to the Movies
December 30, 2020
by John Kass

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need,” said Marcus Tullius Cicero. Old Marcus could have been talking about coping with these pandemic lockdowns, but he wasn’t. Happily, I have a home library, but no garden. And I can’t possibly go... Read More

Yes, Mom, I’m Here.
Opinions
Yes, Mom, I’m Here.
December 22, 2020
by John Kass

My mother is 90 years old, one of the elderly isolated in nursing homes, unable to hug and kiss her children, alone because of the pandemic. And this will be our first Christmas apart. She lived with us for 25 years. But after her stroke, she’d... Read More

William Barr, Vilified by All Sides, Did His Job
Opinions
William Barr, Vilified by All Sides, Did His Job
December 9, 2020
by John Kass

Attorney General William Barr, vilified witlessly and unreasonably for years by the left — and most recently by conservatives — has just performed two critically important services to the republic: After the election, Barr refused to put his name or the Department of Justice behind any... Read More

Abolish Electoral College? Sure, and Why Not Let ‘Majority Rule’ on the Bill of Rights?
Opinions
Abolish Electoral College? Sure, and Why Not Let ‘Majority Rule’ on the Bill of Rights?
November 18, 2020
by John Kass

When we were kids on the playground and there was an angry dispute, someone would always shout “majority rules.” And we’d vote. If the losers didn’t like the outcome, there were two options: punch the winners in the stomach or take the ball and go home.... Read More

What Trump Said About the Proud Boys Was Unconscionable
Opinions
What Trump Said About the Proud Boys Was Unconscionable
October 1, 2020
by John Kass

President Donald Trump’s failure to loudly and forcefully condemn white supremacists in his debate with Joe Biden was an unmitigated disaster that may have cost him a chance at reelection. What Americans witnessed in the chaotic dumpster fire of a debate was this: an angry, stubborn... Read More

'Game of Thrones' Fans Have Been Warned: 'You're Going to Need Therapy'
Opinions
'Game of Thrones' Fans Have Been Warned: 'You're Going to Need Therapy'
March 13, 2019
by John Kass

In just a few weeks, millions of people from around the world will be weeping, screaming, pulling out their hair and issuing piteous cries of rage and grief while eating ice cream on the couch. Because in just a few weeks, HBO's series "Game of Thrones,"... Read More

George H.W. Bush Was Indeed a Prudent Man, and the World Was Better for It
Opinions
George H.W. Bush Was Indeed a Prudent Man, and the World Was Better for It
December 6, 2018
by John Kass

The funeral of former President George H.W. Bush was a great celebration of a noble American patriot. There were the tears of his son that I won't forget. And there was the respect shown to him by his nation. Read More

Democrats Use Tear Gas Image as Sentimental Weapon to Avoid Clearheaded Immigration Debate
Opinions
Democrats Use Tear Gas Image as Sentimental Weapon to Avoid Clearheaded Immigration Debate
November 28, 2018
by John Kass

If there is one thing worse than that photograph of a little Honduran boy breathing through an oxygen mask after being hit with tear gas on our Southern border, it's this: Using that image as a sentimental weapon to fend... Read More

Jim Acosta, on a Peacock's Crusade, Wins Because of Trump's Appointed Judge
Opinions
Jim Acosta, on a Peacock's Crusade, Wins Because of Trump's Appointed Judge
November 20, 2018
by John Kass

That a grandstanding show pony like CNN's Jim Acosta would be transformed by President Donald Trump into a First Amendment crusader knight is perhaps a sad but fitting comment on our age. Acosta is back at work... Read More

Americans Need Sunshine on Trump/Russia and the Clinton-Funded Dossier -- Now
Opinions
Americans Need Sunshine on Trump/Russia and the Clinton-Funded Dossier -- Now
November 8, 2018
by John Kass

After the midterm elections, Americans were still trying to see past the political spin to the serious implications of it all. Did the Democrats win a short-term victory by taking the House and, with it, subpoena power allowing... Read More

Democrats Shame Kanye West to Protect Themselves
Opinions
Democrats Shame Kanye West to Protect Themselves
October 17, 2018
by John Kass

When Kanye West condemned a Republican president after Hurricane Katrina smashed New Orleans, Democrats and their media biscuit eaters weren't all that upset. Many were overjoyed that West, the megastar from... Read More

Hypocritical Damon Uses Kavanaugh Portrayal as a Shield
Opinions
Hypocritical Damon Uses Kavanaugh Portrayal as a Shield
October 6, 2018
by John Kass

Future historians probably won't devote entire volumes to Hollywood actor Matt Damon for his part in the grotesque savaging of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Sadly, Damon will most likely be just a footnote, some jester in... Read More

Democrats, Kavanaugh and the Illness Deep Within the Bones of the Republic
Opinions
Democrats, Kavanaugh and the Illness Deep Within the Bones of the Republic
September 27, 2018
by John Kass

It is tempting to watch the political spectacle of Democrats destroying Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as if it were only some shameful partisan circus. Read More

Obama hides his cynicism behind a silky tongue
Opinions
Obama hides his cynicism behind a silky tongue
September 13, 2018
by John Kass

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and former President Barack Obama are out making stump speeches, rallying the Democratic base for the critical midterm elections in November in the hopes of crippling President Donald Trump by taking control of Congress. Read More

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Drops Out, and It's Lord of the Flies, Again
Opinions
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Drops Out, and It's Lord of the Flies, Again
September 5, 2018
by John Kass

Mayor Rahm Emanuel drops a political bombshell on Chicago, announcing he won't run for re-election, and just like that the race for mayor has been transformed: It's Lord of the Flies on LaSalle Street. Read More

The Silence of Pope Francis and the Pain of a Church
Opinions
The Silence of Pope Francis and the Pain of a Church
August 29, 2018
by John Kass

As Roman Catholic bishops tear at each other, as Pope Francis refuses comment even while standing accused of covering up sexual abuse, I thought of a Bible story. Read More

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