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Chicago Magazine

17 articles

What Happened to Motorola

The anatomy of a collapse.


The Voices in Josh Marks's Head

A talented young chef loses control.


Behind the Beanie Babies: The Secret Life of Ty Warner

A profile of the reclusive billionaire who orchestrated a collectible toy craze.


Michael Ferro Isn't Worried

When an antsy tech entrepreneur takes over a struggling newspaper.


Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church

On the culture of misogyny and abuse at one of the nation’s largest megachurches.


Rita Crundwell and the Dixon Embezzlement

How a small-town comptroller became the biggest municipal embezzler in U.S. history.


The Strange Case of the Dentist and the Pimps

How a family man dentist got involved in an underage prostitution ring.


Gangs and Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance

Inside the shadowy meetings between Chicago’s violent gang members and its elected officials.


The Big Party

Life inside the original Playboy Mansion.


The Bully of Toulon

How one man terrorized a small Illinois town.


Algren in Exile

On the unlikely friendship between Nelson Algren and the young writer during the final years of Algren’s life.

It was June of 1980 when Nelson called me breathlessly from the highway.


A Terrorist's Tale

In June, 1942, a German submarine dropped four young Nazi agents off on a Florida beach. Their mission was to blow up bridges, factories, and Jewish-owned department stores. Among them was Herbert Haupt, the 22-year-old son of a German-American family in Chicago.



The life of Robert Earl Hughes, who at more than 1,000 lbs. was named largest man on earth by the Guinness Book of World Records.


Heartbreak Hotel

When Chicago’s Stevens Hotel opened in 1927, it was the biggest hotel in the world. By the time it was closed, it had bankrupted and caused the suicide of a member of the Stevens’ family (which included a seven-year-old future Justice John Paul Stevens), and changed the city forever.


A Mugging on Lake Street

A veteran reporter investigates his own beating.