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Mike Royko

Updated on July 10, 2014

Chicago's Pulitzer Prize Winner Mike Royko

Learn more about Mike Royko, Chicago's Pulitzer prize winning journalist. With a career that spanned a generation and three newspapers - Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune - Mike Royko is perhaps the best known voice of Chicago journalism. Considered an "Everyman Chicago", Mike Royko is a Chicago cultural treasure.

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One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko
One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko

With the incisive pen of a newspaperman and the compassionate soul of a poet, Mike Royko was a Chicago institution who became, in Jimmy Breslin's words, "the best journalist of his time." Culled from 7500 columns and spanning four decades, from his early days to his last dispatch, the writings in this collection reflect a radically changing America as seen by a man whose keen sense of justice and humor never faltered. Faithful readers will find their old favorites and develop new ones, while the uninitiated have the enviable good fortune of experiencing this true American voice for the first time."A treasure trove lies between these covers. Royko was in a class by himself. He was a true original."âAnn Landers"The joy of One More Time is Royko in his own words."âMary Eileen O'Connell, New York Times Book Review"Reading a collection of Royko's columns is even more of a pleasure than encountering them one by one, and that is a large remark for he rarely wrote a piece that failed to wake you up with his hard-earned moral wit. Three cheers for Royko!"âNorman Mailer"Powerful, punchy, amazingly contemporary."âNeil A. Grauer, Cleveland Plain Dealer"This crackling collection of his own favorite columns as well as those beloved by his fans reminds us just how much we miss the gruff, compassionate voice of Mike Royko."âJane Sumner, Dallas Morning News"A marvelous road map through four decades of America."âElizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune Books"Royko was an expert at finding universal truths in parochial situations, as well as in the larger issuesâwar and peace, justice and injustice, wealth and povertyâhe examined. Think of One More Time as one man's pungent commentary on life in these United States over the last few decades."âBooklist"Royko was one of the most respected and admired people in the business, by readers and colleagues alike. . . . Savor [his sketches] while you can."âJonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World"Book collections of columns aren't presumed to be worth reading. This one is, whether or not you care about newspapering or Chicago."âNeil Morgan, San Diego Union-Tribune "A treasure house for journalism students, for would-be writers, for students of writing styles, for people who just like to laugh at the absurdity of the human condition or, as Studs Terkel said, for those who will later seek to learn what it was really like in the 20th century."âGeorgie Anne Geyer, Washington Times"Full of astonishments, and the greatest of these is Royko's technical mastery as a writer."âHendrik Hertzberg, New Yorker"A great tribute to an American original, a contrarian blessed with a sense of irony and a way with words."âBob Minzesheimer, USA Today"In this posthumous collection of his columns, journalist Royko displays the breezy wit that made him so beloved in the Windy City."âPeopleMike Royko was born in Chicago in 1932 and for much of his youth lived in the flat above his family's tavern on Milwaukee Avenue. Not only did he become the most widely read columnist in Chicago history, but his column was syndicated in more than 600 newspapers across the country. He was also the author of the classic account of city machine politics, Boss. Mike Royko's last column in the Chicago Tribune appeared in March 1997, a month before his death. His memorial service was held on a sunny day in Wrigley Field.

For the Love of Mike: More of the Best of Mike Royko
For the Love of Mike: More of the Best of Mike Royko

In 1999, the University of Chicago Press published a collection of Mike Royko's columns, entitled One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko. The response was immediate and overwhelmingâreaders almost instantly began asking when the second volume of Royko columns would appear. With more than a hundred vintage Royko columns and a foreword by Roger Ebert, For the Love of Mike was the answer.

Royko At The Goat
Royko At The Goat

You could find him there after almost every game, legendary Chicago columnist Mike Royko regaling his team with tales of his softball prowess. Here is Royko at his best, talking about the origins of 16-inch softball, his father's saloon, the day he played with The Strykers and his dying wish - to hit a game winning home run and fall dead on home plate. Recorded in the back booth of The Billy Goat Tavern. July 1982.

The World of Mike Royko
The World of Mike Royko

"One of the 25 most important Chicagoans of the century."-Chicago Magazine "Through the years my family filled many of his columns, some critical and some supportive. But whether you agreed with him or not, you had to respect his honesty and his love for the city. No one captured Chicago like Mike Royko, and his many fans will savor this book capturing his colorful life."-Mayor Richard M. Daley This illustrated biography is the first account of the colorful life of Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko, Pulitzer Prize winner, best-selling author, and legendary journalist who personified Chicago in all its rough-edged charm. Drawing on exclusive photos and interviews with Royko's family and intimates, the book chronicles Royko's rise from a "flat-above-a-tavern" youth-raised above a bar on Chicago's Polish northwest side-to one of the best-known names in American journalism. Readers will get the inside scoop on Royko's epic battles with Mayor Richard J. Daley and other politicians and his hilarious columns featuring "Slats Grobnik." They'll also meet a softer, largely unknown, side of Royko, through the love letters he sent to his wife-to-be from an Air Force base in Washington State. More than 100 photos-many never before available to the public-capture the man and his times. Millions of readers-in 800 newspapers around the world-followed Royko's work and life. In The World of Mike Royko-he lives again. If you ever wanted to sit on a bar stool at the Billy Goat Tavern next to Royko, now you can.


Share Your Memories Of Mike Royko

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    • JenOfChicago LM profile imageAUTHOR

      JenOfChicago LM 

      7 years ago

      @Tyla MacAllister: Thanks for the blessing TylaMac!

    • Tyla MacAllister profile image

      Tyla MacAllister 

      7 years ago

      I've been a Mike Royko fan since I was a kid. Blessed by a squidangel.

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 

      8 years ago

      Man...I remember reading Mike's syndicated column down here in Dayton, Ohio when I was a boy. I loved his voice then, and still read his old stuff from time to time.

      Smell the smoke of a burn out blessing? This lens is featured at

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      I've enjoyed his newspaper columns over the years.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I had never heard of him - but I have now! He's a prolific writer. Well done - go Squid Squad!


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