Rick Kogan (born September 13, 1951) is a Chicago newspaperman, a Chicago radio personality and a noted author.
Early life and education
A native of Chicago's Old Town neighborhood, Kogan is the son of longtime Chicago newspaperman Herman Kogan (1914–1989) and longtime Chicago literary and journalism fixture Marilew (Cavanagh) Kogan (1919–2007). His parents named him Rick and not Richard as a tribute to Riccardo's, a legendary Chicago restaurant and watering hole that now is known as Stefani's. On the night that Kogan was born, noted author, historian and broadcaster Studs Terkel came over and took Kogan's father, Herman, out for a celebratory drink.
Kogan's first home was in an apartment on the second floor of an old graystone at 1444 N. State Parkway on Chicago's Gold Coast, a building that was demolished in 1959. When Kogan's brother Mark was born several years later, the family relocated to an apartment in Old Town.
Kogan attended LaSalle Elementary School in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. and The Latin School of Chicago, Class of 1969. He did not earn a college degree, and worked a variety of jobs in his late teens and early twenties, including as a cab driver.
Kogan earned his first byline in the Chicago Sun-Times at age 16. Although he did not attend college, Kogan continued to write for the Sun-Times, the Chicago Daily News, and then, after the Daily News ceased publication in 1978, returning to the Sun-Times, where he specialized in writing about Chicago's nightlife.
In 1985, Kogan joined the Chicago Tribune, eventually becoming the paper's TV critic and later serving as editor of the Tribune's Tempo section. He currently is on the staff of the Chicago Tribune Magazine, and he also typically writes front-page obituaries of notable Chicago figures, particularly those who have worked in the news media or literature. Among those whom Kogan has memorialized with front-page tributes are Mike Royko (with Jerry Crimmins), Irv Kupcinet, Ann Landers, Gene Siskel, Charles M. Schulz, Studs Terkel, Jeff MacNelly and Abraham Lincoln Marovitz (with Noah Isackson).
Kogan has had more than 4,500 bylines in the Tribune since 1985. One of his most popular features, "Sidewalks," is a weekly feature in the magazine that he produced with longtime Tribune photographer Charles Osgood, who retired in 2008.
Kogan is also currently the host/producer of Chicago Live!, a radio show produced by the Chicago Tribune and broadcast on WGN Radio. Kogan worked in the late 1980s as a part-time entertainment reporter for WBBM-TV and has worked for WBBM radio as well.
From the fall of 1994 until the fall of 1995, Kogan hosted a Sunday morning talk show called "The Sunday Papers" on Chicago's WLUP-FM. From March 1998 until September 1998, Kogan teamed up with Chicago Sun-Times columnist and noted movie critic Richard Roeper to co-host a daily radio show called "Media Creatures" on Chicago's WMVP-AM. Kogan hosted a Sunday morning talk show called "The Sunday Papers" on Chicago's WGN-AM. He was widely known among Chicago radio listeners for his distinctive, gravely voice, which once was named the best voice in the city by Chicago's alternative Newcity. Kogan became the fill-in host for WBEZ, a Chicago FM station, in September 2012. Due to his new show being on during the week, Kogan resigned from WGN.
Kogan has authored eight books, including: Yesterday's Chicago (co-authored with his father, Herman); Everybody Pays (co-authored with Maurice Possley), about the Chicago mob and the retrial of mob hit man Harry Aleman; America's Mom: The Life, Lessons and Legacy of Ann Landers; A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, a curse And the American Dream, about Chicago's fabled Billy Goat Tavern; Dr. Night Life, Sidewalks: Portraits of Chicago; and Brunswick: The Story of an American Company from 1845 to 1985.
Kogan has a daughter, Fiona, who lives in Hyde Park with her mother. Kogan lives downtown.