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Mike Royko
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Commentator
    (September 19, 1932-April 29, 1997)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Columnist for the Chicago Daily News (1964-78), Chicago Sun-Times (1978-84) and Chicago Tribune (1984-97)
    Column syndicated in over 600 newspapers
    Wrote the book 'Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago' (1971)
    Early in his journalism career when he was a crime reporter, he would get scoops by calling the police and posing as a deputy coroner or other city official.
    He frequently got into bar fights.
    During a drunk driving arrest (December 17, 1994), he called one of the cops 'queer' and 'fag.'
    Asked if he would apologize to gay people for the remarks, he initially refused, while noting 'I apologized to the cops. They're the ones I offended.'
    Eventually he offered a lame (even lamer than 'I'm sorry if anyone was offended') 'If gays and lesbians think they deserve an apology, OK, I apologize.'
    Hispanic groups picketed the 'Tribune' after he wrote that Mexico was a 'useless' country that should be invaded and turned over to Club Med (1996).
    He won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary (1972).
    Rev. Jesse Jackson, one of his regular targets, admitted, 'He was an equal opportunity shot taker.'
    He was a regular patron of Sam Sianis' Billy Goat Tavern and popularized the legend of the Curse of the Billy Goat in his columns.
    He also popularized the 'Ex-Cubs Factor' when he predicted that the heavily favored Oakland Athletics would lose the 1990 World Series because they had three former Chicago Cubs on their roster. The A's lost to the Cincinnati Reds in a sweep.
    He left the Sun-Times after it was bought by Rupert Murdoch, commenting 'No self-respecting fish would want to be wrapped in a Murdoch paper.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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