Pulitzer Prize Winner Studs Terkel Dead

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  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Studs Terkel dies - Chicago Breaking News

    Studs Terkel dies
    October 31, 2008 at 7:36 PM | Comments (43)

    Author-radio host-actor-activist and Chicago symbol Louis "Studs" Terkel died at his home on the North Side today. He was 96.

    Beset in recent years by a variety of ailments and the woes of age, which included being virtually deaf, Terkel's health took a turn for the worse when he suffered a fall in his home two weeks ago. Louis Terkel arrived here as a child from New York City and in Chicago found not only a new name but a place that perfectly matched--in its energy, its swagger, its charms, its heart--his own personality. They made a perfect and enduring pair.

    At his bedside was a copy of his latest book, "P.S. Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening," scheduled for a November release. He was 96 years old.

    It is hard to imagine a fuller life.

    A television institution for years, a radio staple for decades, a literary lion since 1967, when he wrote his first best-selling book at the age of 55, Terkel was born in New York City on May 16, 1912. "I came up the year the Titanic went down," he would often say. He moved with his family when they purchased the Wells-Grand Hotel, a rooming house catering to a wide and colorful variety of people. He supplemented the life experiences there by visits to Bughouse Square, the park across the street from the Newberry Library that was at the time home to all manner of soap box orators.

    "I doubt whether I learned very much [at the park]," Terkel wrote. "One thing I know: I delighted in it. Perhaps none of it made any sense, save one kind: sense of life."

    Many people reacted to news of his death, including: "He liked to tell the story of an interview with a woman in a public housing unit in Chicago. At the end of the interview, the woman said, 'My goodness, I didn't know I felt that way.' That was his genius." -- Andre Schiffrin, Terkel's longtime editor, publisher and friend.
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    "He couldn't have written a shelf of books after listening to thousands of people and writing down their words if his heart had not been unconditionally open to the world." -- Roger Ebert, film critic.
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    "He liked people like (Nelson) Algren. He liked people like (Mike) Royko because they were larger than life. They were authentic. He found his home in Chicago and he found it in the gritty aspect of Chicago life. The ne'er-do-wells, the outcasts, the bums, all these people were people he was curious about. They intrigued him." -- Russell Lewis, Chicago History Museum.
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    "Studs Terkel was part of a great Chicago literary tradition that stretched from Theodore Dreiser to Richard Wright to Nelson Algren to Mike Royko. In his many books, Studs captured the eloquence of the common men and women whose hard work and strong values built the America we enjoy today. He was also an excellent interviewer, and his WFMT radio show was an important part of Chicago's cultural landscape for more than 40 years." -- Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
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    "The memorable Louis 'Studs' Terkel spoke to Chicago and stood for Chicago. And today we mourn his passing. Studs, perhaps best known in Chicago for his radio program, was also a gifted actor and writer. He will be greatly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends." -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    --The Associated Press contributed

    Terkel was perhaps best known for his oral histories, such as the 1970 book 'Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression', for which he assembled recollections of the Great Depression spanning the socioeconomic spectrum, from Okies, to prison inmates, to the wealthy. His 1974 book 'Working', in which (in the words of the subtitle) "People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" was also highly acclaimed. (Working was made into a short-lived Broadway show in 1978 and telecast on PBS in 1982.) Terkel won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for 'The Good War', which challenged the prevailing notion that, in contrast to the Vietnam War era, World War II was a time of unblemished national solidarity, goodwill, and unified purpose. In 1997 Terkel was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1999 he received the George Polk Career Award.
     
  2. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Don't know much about him, but sad nontheless.

    RIP
     
  3. Cota1992

    Cota1992 Member

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    Damn, I've read the Good War, Working and Hard Times, all great books.
    Like the article said, a full life.
    RIP

    Art
     
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