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Guest Name
John W. Fountain
Guest Biography

A native son of Chicago’s West Side, John Wesley 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 since 2007, he has written for the last 13 years a weekly Sunday column for the Chicago Sun-Times. As a journalist, Fountain has chronicled the story of murder for 30 years, mostly in Chicago. He was a 2021-22 Fulbright Scholar to Ghana, where taught at the University of Ghana at Legon and conducted a research project: “Africa Calling: Portraits of Black Americans Drawn to the Motherland”

He was previously a professor of journalism at his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is a graduate of Providence-St. Mel School, Chicago.

He has won numerous journalism awards over a nearly 40-year journalism career and is author of five books, including his latest, Soul Cries: In Black & White and Shades of Gray. He is a frequent guest commentator on radio and television.

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. Fountain is founder of WestSide Press Publishing, Chicago, and more recently FountainWorks NFP, a not-for-profit focused on telling the untold stories of marginalized or underrepresented people in print, digital and other forms.

His decision to become a journalist: “I chose journalism ultimately because of its power to make a difference, to shine the light on hidden corners of the world, to give voice to the voiceless, to make the invisible visible. I see this as more than a profession. It is a calling to which I am committed for as long as I have breath.”