Friday, October 31, 2008

“Take It Easy, But Take It”

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, activist and radio host Louis “Studs” Terkel died at his Chicago home Friday. He was 96. From CNN:
Terkel had grown frail since the publication last year of his memoir, "Touch and Go," said Gordon Mayer, vice president of the Community Media Workshop, which Terkel had supported.

"I'm still in touch, but I'm ready to go," he said last year at his last public appearance with the workshop, a nonprofit that recognizes Chicago reporters who take risks in covering the city.
Terkel received a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1934, though he opted not to pursue the practice of law. He was perhaps best known for his radio show, The Studs Terkel Program, that was heard in the Chicago area from 1952 until 1997 for one hour every week day.

His first book, The Giants of Jazz, was published in 1956. He received the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for The Good War.

“Studs Terkel knew the real America,” Dennis Kucinich wrote Friday in an essay for The Nation. “The America of grit and gumption, heart and soul, passion and nerve. He chronicled five generations of American history with a compassionate and deep understanding of the American character.”

In an affectionate good-bye in The Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert wrote:
Was he the greatest Chicagoan? I cannot think of another. For me, he represented the joyous, scrappy, liberal, generous, wise-cracking heart of this city. If you met him, he was your friend. That happened to the hundreds and hundreds of people he interviewed for his radio show and 20 best-selling books. He wrote down the oral histories of those of his time who did not have a voice. In conversation he could draw up every single one of their names.
And Ebert ends on a quote so completely Terkel, I must end on it, as well:
There will be no tombstone, although being Studs, he has written his epitaph: “Curiosity didn’t kill this cat.”



Blogger Leigh Russell said...

Interesting blog. As an author of crime fiction, I'll definitely visit again. You're welcome to visit my blog where I write about my experience of writing and finding a publisher - along with an ill disciplined variety of random thoughts, from myself and others.

Feel free to check out my book, CUT SHORT, on If you like what you see, I'd be happy to give an interview on your blog when my book comes out in March (first of a three book deal with my publisher).

Once again, very impressive blog!

Sunday, November 2, 2008 8:56:00 AM PST  

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