Saturday, August 04, 2007
MINI-PROFILE: Markos "Kos" Moulitsas Zuniga spent teen years in Chicago area
Native Chicagoan began blog as 'personal therapy'
August 3, 2007
By Abdon M. Pallasch
Markos "Kos" Moulitsas Zuniga, 35, started blogging five years ago as "personal therapy" to get his frustrations with the Bush administration off his chest. "It was the tail end of the Afghanistan war and the lead-up to the Iraq war, and any sort of dissent against the president was considered treason and unpatriotic," he said. "It was never intended to be anything beyond personal therapy." But a lot of Americans were feeling the same frustrations, and his blog caught on. Now, he says, it's the most popular political blog out there.
"A lot of bloggers out there are much better writers than I am," Moulitsas said. "My talent has been in building communities." It wasn't until late 2004, when some conservatives started attacking him, that Moulitsas realized the impact he was beginning to have. "I knew they would not be hammering me if they did not perceive me as a threat," he said.
Moulitsas had an unusual childhood. Born in Chicago and raised in El Salvador, he returned here with his family after a civil war broke out there in 1980. He felt he did not fit in with the 2,000 students at Schaumburg High School. "They weren't really my type," he said. "I would have been happier if this technology existed back then. I would have been online talking to people like me. All we had was Pong."
Moulitsas graduated at 17 and joined the U.S. Army. After a three-year hitch, he enrolled at Northern Illinois University, earning degrees in philosophy, journalism and political science. He got a law degree from Boston University, then moved to Berkeley, Calif., to work in the tech industry. He lives there now with his wife and two children. He won't be coming back to Chicago: "Too hot, too cold, too flat."
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