John Carmichael, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, began his journalistic career in 1924 as a police reporter at the Milwaukee Journal. Following a three-year stint with the Milwaukee Leader, Carmichael joined the Chicago Herald-Examiner as a sportswriter and, in 1932, moved to the Chicago Daily News. It was with the Daily News that Carmichael wrote his famed column, "The Barber Shop," from 1934 until his semi-retirement in 1972. For the last 29 years of his tenure at the Daily News Carmichael served as the paper's sports editor.
Carmichael covered every spring training and World Series from 1929 through his retirement. His career covering Chicago baseball stretched from the days of Ted Lyons and Hack Wilson through Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams. More than just a baseball writer, Carmichael also covered football, wrestling, hockey, was present for Sonny Liston's first-round knockout of Floyd Patterson at Comiskey Park in 1962 and was a great lover of thoroughbred racing.
Bill Veeck viewed Carmichael as "one of the all-time greats. He knows more athletes by name—and more athletes know him by name—than any other sportswriter in the country." And Ted Williams called Carmichael "the home-run champion of sportswriters."