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Writer, Essayist, Poet, Chicago Historian

Patrick T Reardon

Patrick T. Reardon is a Chicagoan, born and bred. He is an essayist, poet, literary critic and an expert on the city of Chicago. He has been writing about the city, its region, its planning issues and literary scene for more than 40 years. For much of that time, he was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune.

He has also written extensively about his Catholic faith in articles and essays in a variety of newspapers and magazines, as well as in several books.

Reardon is the author of ten books, including the urban history The Loop: The ‘L’ Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago (Southern Illinois University Press) and two poetry collections Darkness on the Face of the Deep (Kelsay Books) and Requiem for David (Silver Birch Press). Others include Faith Stripped to Its Essence: A Discordant Pilgrimage through Shusaku Endo’s ‘Silence’ and Daily Meditations (with Scripture) for Busy Dads.

In addition, he has written chapters for a variety of works including Chicago Days: 150 Defining Moments in the Life of a Great City.

Reardon was the urban affairs writer and a feature writer at the Chicago Tribune during a 33-year career at the newspaper. He specialized in writing about social issues, public policy questions and the interconnections within the Chicago region. He was the primary reporter and team leader on a wide variety of in-depth multi-part series on such subjects as the urban underclass, Chicago’s public school system and the middle-class migration out of the city. Reardon was one of a team of Tribune writers and reporters who won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for Gateway to Gridlock, a series of stories about the nation’s over-crowded skies.

In 2009, he authored two planning booklets for the Burnham Plan Centennial and wrote 78 essays over a nine-month period for the Burnham Blog. In addition, he edited (and wrote key portions of) a report for the Friends of the Parks titled The Last Four Miles: Completing Chicago’s Lakefront Parks.

A former scholar-in-residence at the Newberry Library, he was a member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and was a member of the advisory board of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. His poems and essays have appeared in a variety of publications in the U.S. and Europe.