Chicago without question has talented and cherished reporters and newspaper columnist's. We've been blessed to have two great Daily newspapers. Most times the news that we see on our television screens have come from the work of those who report on the news and comments in both newspapers. Reporting and commenting on the big and small occurrences of our daily lives brings them into our homes and indeed for a heck of a lot of us they become like part of the family. Some columnists we agree with others at the very least we respect their opinion, thank God we are all not editors, sometimes they just cannot win. But make no mistake Chicago gets the news delivered, we are all well informed.
Dwelling on the past sometimes cannot be helped and in this instance I wanted to give a shout out to someone who I believe was the very best at capturing Chicago and all it's people, the ever changing characters, the moods of the pompous, the powerful, and certainly the underdog, the little guy. On Sunday April 29th the Great Mike Royko will have been dead for 21 years. I know for myself, I often think "I wonder what Mike would have to say about this or that about the current State of affairs in our City and Country. He had the unique distinction of writing for both Chicago's major newspapers. If I heard it once I heard it thousands of time "Did You Read Royko Today"? His commentary five days a week was read by millions of people all over the world not just Chicagoan's. To be honest he was a friend and a softball buddy. He once wrote a column about my stance on the availability of handguns that were used to kill several Chicago Police officers. I never realized the breath of his following, until I received letters from all over the United States and as far away as New Zealand (the Prime Minister no less).
In the past few years we have often heard the words, fake News, yellow Journalism, sensationalism, bullying it's way into the mainstream news feeds. The Kardasians appearing in headlines along with, well! stuff that most people thought belonged in the Inquirer not in our daily newspapers. When the news broke that Rupert Murdoch, who was an Australian, ( Royko named the Alien) had bought the Sun-Times in 1984 .Royko promptly made headlines when he jumped from the Times to the rival Chicago Tribune. His reasoning was Murdoch's prior ownership of news outlets that favored sensationalism over hard news. A lesson for todays millionaires who purchase newspapers and favor profit over content. Royko's move proved to me his dedication to bringing the best possible journalism to all of Chicago's readers. He also wrote for the Chicago Daily News, where he won a Pulitzer in 1972.
Mikes interests and hobbies were as varied as his commentary, his beloved Chicago Cubs,Windy City 16in softball, his summer home in Bohner Lake Wisconsin were just a few.
He often could be found in his favorite place the Billy Goat tavern holding court with Studs Turkel, softball friends, Cops, other writers and Journalists or anybody who just popped in for a CHEEZEBORGER, ( Pepsi no Coke) or a few pints. For any of you who were to young to Remember Mike and his wisdom, you can still be a part of his allure. He left us with several books of his Columns and of course the Prize of them all was "BOSS" a book about the late Mayor Richard J. Daley absolutely hilarious. He once said that Chicago's motto should have been (WHERE'S MINE) Mike Royko a Chicagoan for the ages. Rest in peace Mike. We miss you.----Semper Fi
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