Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jerry Crimmins  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1944

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Illinois Connection

Crimmins is a longtime Chicago journalist and editor. He graduated from Loyola University.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jerry Crimmins is an award-winning veteran Chicago reporter and editor. He has worked for the ''Chicago Daily Law Bulletin'', ''Chicago Tribune'', ''Associated Press'', and ''City News Bureau''. He has won awards for investigative reporting, deadline reporting, non-deadline reporting, and feature writing. His exclusive ''Chicago Tribune'' vote fraud story led to the largest grand jury investigation of vote fraud in Chicago history and more than 50 convictions. In cooperation with U.S. officials, he was instrumental in freeing five American citizens from prison in Yugoslavia in five separate cases due to his reporting in the ''Chicago Tribune''. In cooperation with then-State Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois, Crimmins and other ''Chicago Tribune'' reporters published a series of stories about irregularities at a northwest suburban mental health center that led to the firing of the head of that center and the resignation of its board of directors.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Obits and Murders: A Newspaper Story Set in Chicago
ISBN: 0962604704

Ozanam Pr. 1992

Book by Crimmins, Jerry

Fort Dearborn: A Novel
ISBN: 0810122960

Northwestern University Press. 2006

Before the city of Chicago, there was Fort Dearborn and before Fort Dearborn, there were the Potawatomi. In a story that brings to life the founding of one of the world's great cities, Fort Dearborn takes us back to Chicago's early struggle of fire and blood. Through the eyes of two young boys and their fathers--one father a sergeant with the United States First Infantry, the other a Potawatomi warrior--we see the events that lead up to the Fort Dearborn Massacre. At the start of the War of 1812, more than sixty soldiers and civilians were killed when the Potawatomi and allied tribes attacked them as Fort Dearborn was evacuated. Some fifteen Indians were also killed in the battle.

Told from both the Indian and white perspectives, using scores of letters, historical documents and maps, and long-forgotten Indian speeches, Jerry Crimmins breathes life into the little known drama that took place in the vicinity of the fort that once occupied what is now downtown Chicago. Early in the nineteenth century, the Potawatomi attempted to co-exist with the settlers at the newly built Fort Dearborn, and even competed with soldiers in sports contests. But eventually, in an effort to preserve Indian lands and ways, there is a desperate turn to violence and fatal consequences. A suspenseful narrative, Fort Dearborn is also a remarkable historical account, minutely observed and meticulously documented, preserving a key moment in American history.


Numerous newspaper journalism awards

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)