Mike Royko, Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author, died ten years ago today—on April 29, 1997. Royko, a man whom Jimmy Breslin called “the best journalist of his time,” was one of the most thorough and incisive chroniclers of the American experience over his long career, writing successively for the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune.
A few days ago the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum assembled family, friends, and former colleagues for a tribute to Royko. Rick Kogan, Carol Marin, and Sam Sianis (owner of the Billy Goat tavern) were among the speakers.
The Chicagoland blog published by the Chicago Reader had a nice piece about Royko, pointing out the continuing relevance of his progressive views and insightful writing. Tributes have also appeared in, of course, the Tribune and the Sun-Times—pieces that are remarkably different in focus—the Trib on his writing, the Sun-Times on his personality.
The University of Chicago Press was pleased publish two volumes of the best of Royko’s columns; One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko and its encore, For the Love of Mike: More of the Best of Mike Royko. You can sample a few classic Royko columns on our website—such as his column on the ex-Cub factor, a discourse on the Chicago hotdog, the day Jackie Robinson came to Wrigley Field, and the unveiling of the Picasso. Read excerpts from One More Time and excerpts from For the Love of Mike.