(born September 13, 1953) is an American writer and editor
based in Kansas City.
Raised mostly in Lansing, Michigan, Worgul is the oldest of three siblings.
He graduated from J.W. Sexton High School in 1971. He attended Gordon College
(Massachusetts) from 1971-1972. He graduated from Western Michigan University
in 1976 with a B.A. in political science, and again in 1977 with a M.A. in
education, with an emphasis on the teaching of reading.
Worgul moved to Kansas City in 1989 and has worked for The Kansas City
newspaper as a book and features editor and editor of Star Magazine
He was also editor of Kansas City Magazine.
Prior to his work as a
journalist, Worgul was a social worker and an advertising and marketing
consultant. He is currently the director of marketing at Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in
Kansas City, named by Anthony Bourdain as one of the "Thirteen Places to
Eat Before You Die."
A nationally recognized authority on the history and cultural significance
of American barbecue traditions, Worgul has been interviewed and/or cited in
numerous national and regional newspapers and magazines on the subject, and has
also appeared on two History Channel programs. He is the author of The Grand
Barbecue: A Celebration of the History, Places, Personalities and Techniques of
Kansas City Barbecue
(Kansas City Star Books, 2001).
Worgul's first novel, Thin Blue Smoke
, set in a fictional barbecue
joint in Kansas City, is a story of love, loss, despair, redemption, squandered
gifts, second chances, whiskey, God, and the secret language of rabbits. It was
published in the UK by Macmillan Publishers in 2009. The U.S. edition of Thin
was published by Burnside Books in September 2012.
sense of place permeates Worgul's writing. His writing has been compared to
that of John Irving, Richard Russo, and Frederick Buechner.
Worgul has four daughters and three
grandsons and lives in Leawood, Kansas with his wife.