Blair Kamin is a native of Red Bank, New Jersey. He graduated from Amherst College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts and from the Yale University School of Architecture in 1984 with a Master of Environmental Design. In 1999, he was a visiting fellow at the Franke Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago.
Kamin was a reporter for the Des Moines Register from 1984 to 1987. He joined the Tribune in 1987, covering suburban and cultural news. Since becoming the Tribune's architecture critic in 1992, he has written about the full range of the built environment-from skyscrapers to museums to parks to public housing. Kamin has lectured widely, with audiences including the American Institute of Architects' National Convention, the annual meeting of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, the Ravinia Festival and Steppenwolf Theatre. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs about architecture, from National Public Radio to the History Channel to ABC's "Nightline."
Among his awards are the George Polk Award for criticism, the American Institute of Architects' Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement and the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism, which he has won eight times. Kamin lives in Chicago with his wife, Chicago Tribune reporter Barbara Mahany, and their son, Willie, a student at the University of Chicago Laboratory School.