The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

About the Centennial

Patrick T. Reardon

A lifelong Chicagoan, Patrick T. Reardon was the urban affairs writer and a feature writer at the Chicago Tribune during a 32-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, public housing, Chicago’s public school system, the middle-class migration out of the city, the rebirth of the Chicago River, the inner workings of a ward boss’s organization, the social and cultural shifts behind the disappearance of the city’s taverns, the surprising importance of alleys in the life of the city, and the emotional, cultural and historical factors behind suburban sprawl.

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.  As a team leader, he has won three Peter Lisagor Awards from the Chicago chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for reporting.  In addition, his book reviews won two Lisagors for arts criticism.

During his career, Reardon used his expertise in social policy, demographics, statistics, community organizing, Chicago politics, Chicago history, the geography of the city and region, the city’s literature, the multiplicity of governments in the region, development, religion and the history of the nation and world to hold a mirror up to the people of the metropolitan region. His goal has always been to help people understand where they’d been, where they were and where they were going.

Reardon is the author of three books, "Daily Meditations (with Scripture) for Busy Dads,” "Starting Out: Reflections for Young People" and "Love Never Fails: Spiritual Reflections for Dads of All Ages," all from ACTA.

He also wrote several chapters in the 1997 book, "Chicago Days: 150 Defining Moments in the Life of a Great City," edited by Stevenson O. Swanson and produced by the Chicago Tribune staff. He contributed chapters to "Christmas Presence: Twelve Gifts That Were More Than They Seemed," published in 2002 by ACTA, as well as two follow-ups, "Hidden Presence" and "Diamond Presence."

He has lectured on Chicago history at the Chicago History Museum and on journalism at Northwestern University, DePaul University and Roosevelt University. His poems have appeared in many periodicals.

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Photo of Patrick T. ReardonPatrick T. Reardon is a Chicagoan, born and bred.  He has been writing about the city, its region and planning issues, mainly in the Chicago Tribune, for nearly 40 years.


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