John W. Fountain

Award-Winning Journalist, Author, Columnist, Professor at Roosevelt University. Former New York Times National Correspondent

A native son of Chicago’s West Side, John W. Fountain is an award-winning columnist, journalist, professor, publisher and author of True Vine: A Young Black Man’s Journey of Faith, Hope and Clarity; and Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood. A tenured full professor of journalism at Roosevelt University, he writes a weekly Sunday column for the Chicago Sun-Times. As a journalist, Fountain has chronicled the story of murder for more than 25 years, mostly in Chicago. In May, Fountain received the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism—an award he also won in 2014 and 2011 for news column or commentary in the category of daily newspapers with a circulation of 250,000 or more. The Lisagor is awarded by the Chicago Headline Club—the largest local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the country. In 2014, Fountain’s Sun-Times column was awarded best column by the Illinois Press Association. In 2012, Fountain received the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association Award and the Chicago Journalists Association Sarah Brown Boyden Award for his Chicago Sun-Times column. Fountain has been a reporter at some of the nation’s top newspapers. He was a national correspondent for The New York Times and a staff writer at the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, where he was once that newspaper’s chief crime reporter. Fountain frequently speaks across the country at churches, elementary and high schools, at universities, and also for civic and social organizations. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he often shares his inspirational story of going from poverty and the urban mean streets of Chicago’s West Side to the top of his profession. His essay, “The God Who Embraced Me,” appears in National Public Radio’s book, This I Believe (Henry Holt Books, 2006), as part of the nationally acclaimed series initiated by Edward R. Morrow. Fountain is currently working on two book projects, “No Place for Me: A Letter to the Church at America” and “Son of the Times: Life, Laughter, Love and Coffee,” a book of essays. Both books will be published this summer.