Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Gary Rivlin  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT

Born: 1958 in New York City


Illinois Connection

Lived in Cook County for 10 years

Biographical and Professional Information

Through most of his twenties, Gary Rivlin worked as a staff writer at the Chicago Reader, where he wrote primarily about Chicago politics. He inaugurated a regular “City Hall” column and for a time co-wrote (with his good friend Ted Cox) the paper’s “Hot Type” column but mainly wrote long cover articles delving into the politics dominating Chicago in the 1980s, when the city elected Harold Washington as its first black mayor. That experience led to his first book, Fire on the Prairie: Harold Washington and the Politics of Race, winner of the 1992 Carl Sandburg Award for best non-fiction and also the Chicago Sun-Times’s non-fiction book of the year.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- Carl Sandburg Award for Non-fiction for Fire on the Prairie