Pioneer writer Irv Leavitt awarded Lisagor
Irv Leavitt, Pioneer Press/Sun-Times Media staff writer and columnist
Updated: May 8, 2012 8:27PM
Pioneer Press columnist and reporter Irv Leavitt received the coveted Peter Lisagor Award for best news column or commentary at a banquet Friday in Chicago. It was the second Lisagor for Leavitt, who won the prestigious plaque in 2011 for feature writing.
The whimsical, self-effacing writer won this year on the strength of three columns, one on a zeppelin (“It’s kind of like a blimp,” he said), another on large retailers cashing in on the Black Friday phenomenon and a third on the Chicago Highland Games, a Scottish festival involving rugby and a haggis-eating contest, both of which Leavitt participated in.
“The rugby was much more dangerous than the haggis,” Leavitt said. “It’s a very harrowing game.”
Turning serious, Leavitt said, “I appreciate the leeway I get to write these things. (With a few exceptions) I’ve got the best job in Chicago journalism.”
“Irv is a joy to read, a slightly lesser joy to edit,” said Jeff Wisser, editor-in-chief of Pioneer Press and one of the award-winning writer’s editors. “This award is a testament to his hard work, inventiveness and gift for vibrant, incisive and often funny writing. And it is also an honor for all of us who strive to serve our readers with engaging and important stories and information every week.”
Leavitt also writes an ongoing series called “The Unemployee,” where he works for one day at area businesses, writing about the experience. A pizza shop, a maid service, an emergency room and a hotel are just a handful of the businesses featured in the offbeat column.
In addition to columns, Leavitt also writes Suburboddities,” entertaining compilations of bizarre crime stories, and The Worst, a regular collection of readers’ recollections of things ranging from “the worst thing I ever ate at Thanksgiving” to “the worst thing my mother ever made me wear.” In addition, Leavitt now covers the Village of Glencoe for the Glencoe News. Previously, he has covered towns including Northbrook, Deerfield and Buffalo Grove.
“I’ve covered lots of towns,” said Leavitt. “I’ve been all over the place.”