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Eric Zorn was an op-ed columnist for the Chicago Tribune who specialized in local news and politics but also wrote widely about sports, arts and culture.

Zorn is a 1980 graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the town in which he grew up. He majored in English literature and creative writing and was a senior editor (arts) on the Michigan Daily.

He served a four-month summer internship at the Miami Herald in 1979 and started working for the Chicago Tribune as a post-graduate summer intern in May, 1980. He has been a columnist at the paper since 1986. 

Each December since 1999 (except for COVID-19 pandemic 2020), Zorn and his fellow (now former) columnist Mary Schmich  have hosted the “Songs of Good Cheer” holiday caroling parties at the Old Town School of Folk Music to raise money for the Tribune Holiday Fund charities.

Zorn co-wrote the 1990 book “Murder of Innocence,” about the schoolhouse shooting in suburban Winnetka, Illinois.    The book served as the basis for a 1993 made-for-TV movie with the same name. In 2003, Zorn began posting to”Change of Subject,”the Tribune’s first blog.

Zorn is a Democrat and has said, “I’m a Democrat because I think man-made climate change is real, that it’s vile to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, that access to quality health care should be a right, that the death penalty should be abolished, that income inequality should be diminished and that we shouldn’t privatize public education. I’m a Democrat because I believe it should be hard to buy a gun—especially if you’re on a law-enforcement watch list—and that every firearm should be registered, licensed and easily tracked … organized labor and ‘big government’ interventions are needed to smooth out the roller-coaster ride of free-market capitalism.”

Zorn took a buyout from the new owners of the Chicago Tribune in June, 2021 and now writes the Picayune Sentinel, a Substack. His work appears occasionally in the Daily Herald newspaper and he is a weekly guest on WCPT-AM 820 and WGN-AM 720 as well as a founding panelist of “The Mincing Rascals,” an award-winning news-talk podcast.

He has been married to the former Johanna Wolken since 1985.  They have three adult children and live on Chicago’s Northwest Side. He is a mediocre golfer and a pretty good old-time fiddler

He can be reached at