Patrick M. O’Connell


Patrick M. O'Connell is a veteran journalist and Chicago Tribune reporter who covers a wide array of topics, including the environment, politics, criminal justice and the business of sports. In 2019, he wrote a series of stories that focused on flooding and environmental issues in communities along the Mississippi River. One of the stories focused on the tension between farmers, levee districts and landowners in Illinois and Missouri. Another featured the water woes of the small community of Kaskaskia, located on what is essentially an island surrounded by the river in southwestern Illinois. The final story focused on Dogtooth Bend, a peninsula near the far southern tip of Illinois threatened by a broken levee and a changing river. O'Connell also was a member of the Tribune team that earned national honors for "The Water Drain" series and he covered the Cubs' 2016 World Series run. O'Connell has worked for publications throughout the Midwest for two decades. When not doing laundry for his family, he enjoys softball, hiking, trivia nights, craft beer and karaoke. His Twitter handle is @pmocwriter.