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Rex Huppke
Early in his career as a humor(ish) columnist at the Chicago Tribune, Rex Huppke declared himself “America’s most-beloved columnist,” a claim wholly unsupported by facts or empirical evidence. Nobody pushed back against that claim or demanded a correction, so Huppke embraced the title and launched a career built on a firm foundation of accidental branding. Huppke started his working life as a chemical engineer but soon realized making money is undignified, so he veered into the writer’s life by way of a master’s degree from the University of Missouri Graduate School of Journalism. As he transitioned to column writing, Huppke found his penchant for humor an effective way of delivering opinions. In 2012, he wrote a satirical obituary for facts that was named one of Time magazine’s top 10 opinion pieces of the year. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones once called Huppke a coward, a moment he views as roughly the equivalent of winning a Pulitzer. He is now a national columnist at USA TODAY, writing staggeringly brilliant (according to him) columns on the news of the day three or more times a week.