Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rick Kogan  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1951 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Rick Kogan grew up in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood and still lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Rick Kogan is a senior writer and columnist for ''Sidewalks'' at the ''Chicago Tribune''. He is the author of a dozen books, including ''Sidewalks I'' and ''Sidewalks II'' , collections of his columns accompanied by the work of photographer Charles Osgood. Kogan is also creator and host of WGN Radio's ''Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan'' and host of ''Chicago Live!'' The son of Chicago newspaperman and author Herman Kogan, he was raised in the city’s Old Town neighborhood and wrote his first story for the ''Chicago Sun-Times'' at age 16. His first book was ''Dr. Night Life'', and his recent books include ''America’s Mom: The Life, Lessons'', and ''Everybody Pays'' with co-author Maurice Possley. Kogan was a longtime friend and editor of Ann Landers for the last five years of her life and wrote ''America`s Mom, The Life, Lessons and Legacy of Ann Landers''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Dr. Night Life
ISBN: 0914090720

Chicago Review Press. 1979

Teamwork: The history of Wells Manufacturing Company

Wells Manufacturing Co. 1987

Everybody Pays
ISBN: 0425188671

Berkley. 2002

A tense, page-turning true-crime thriller follows Bob Lowe, a young mechanic and family man, who became the sole witness to a brutal 1972 mob hit in Chicago as he struggles with his new role in life and tries to survive as a "protected" witness. Reprint.

America's Mom: The Life, Letters, and Legacy of Ann Lan
ISBN: B00128Z1YY

HarperCollins e-books. 2009

For two generations of Americans, reading Ann Landers's daily column was as important as eating breakfast. For nearly fifty years an entire nation turned to this quick-witted, worldly-wise counselor for advice on everything from dinner etiquette to sex. But who was the woman behind the byline?

Iowa-born Eppie Lederer was first hired by the Chicago Sun-Times to take over the daily advice column in 1955 -- and over the next half-century she helped shape the nation's social and sexual landscape. Award-winning journalist Rick Kogan was Ann Landers's last editor and close friend, and he paints a fascinating, full-bodied account of the triumphs, the wisdom, the courage, and the trials of one of the twentieth century's most enduring icons -- including her painful lifelong feud with her identical twin sister, "Dear Abby" her stubborn refusal to shy away from even the most controversial topics and the tragic breakup of her own thirty-six-year marriage. Filled with remarkable stories shared by people from all walks of life who were profoundly affected by the good sense and guidance of Ann Landers, America's Mom is a moving tribute to a singular woman who has earned an eternal place in our culture ... and our hearts.


Harper Paperbacks. 2005

A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, a Curse, and the American Dream.
ISBN: 1893121496

Lake Claremont Press. 2006


Sidewalks: Portraits of Chicago (Chicago Lives)
ISBN: 0810151936

Northwestern University Press. 2008

"A wonderful book that tells you the basic truths of our city." —Studs Terkel

Few people know Chicago as do Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood, and their "Sidewalks" column for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine is a tour of the city like no other, taking readers to the off-beat and quintessential spots that give Chicago its character—that make its inhabitants feel at home and tell its visitors that they have arrived.

Accompanied by evocative color photographs by Charles Osgood, Kogan's pieces revisit the lost places and people of Chicago, and take readers down the quiet byways and thriving thoroughfares, pointing out the characters and cornerstones, the oddities and institutions that make the city what it is. In this collection you will find an elegy for Maxwell Street, the marketplace that pulsed with city life for more than 100 years a remembrance of a disturbing advertisement ("Are you a slave to housework?") on the side of a building on Irving Park Road a cross marking a deadly intersection a magical miniature golf course as well as ballad singer Fred Holstein, the denizens of the World Gym and memories of Bensinger's pool hall, the day-camp kids of summer, bike couriers, the creatures of the beach, and much, much more. Here is Chicago, past, present, and—let's hope—future, captured in the unique archive of Sidewalks.

Sidewalks: Volume 2: Reflections on Chicago
ISBN: 0984126503

Sidewalks Book Company. 2009

Osgood, Charles, Kogan, Rick


  • Chicago's Best Reporter in 1999
  • Chicago's Greatest Living Journalist in 2002
  • Inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in March 2003
  • Rick Kogan was honored at the 2004 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)