for (at various stages of his career) the Chicago Daily News
, Chicago Sun-Times
and finally the Chicago Tribune
. A Giant
. Nobody (with the barely-possible exception of Studs Terkel
) did a better job bringing the atmospheres and attitudes of Chicago
life to the world
. Royko dominated
the journalistic scene in his home town for over 20 years. He was iconoclastic
, a champion of the common man
, and completely fearless
when it came to his choice of target
His was a news column for the most part, but he was not above an occasional crusade and he had plenty of colorful characters, fictional and otherwise, who he could turn to for material when the need arose.
At the height of his column's fame it could be read in 615 newspapers. Royko won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for commentary on the basis of his body of work from the previous year, and the Damon Runyon award in 1995.
Newcomers to his work are in for a treat; a good introduction is his posthumous collection, One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko, while Boss, his 1971 unauthorized biography of Richard J. Daley will tell you as much or more about that man's generation of big-city machine politicians as any historical or sociological work.
If you don't know Royko, you don't know Chicago.