Studs Terkel dies at age 96

Studsterkelobit_l Studs Terkel, the multihyphenate Windy City icon, has died, the Chicago Tribune reports. The author-historian-actor-activist-radio announcer-television host passed away on Friday at age 96; he had been in declining health for years, culminating in a fall in his home two weeks ago.

Born in New York City, Terkel moved to Chicago as a child. Though educated in law, he rose to fame during the Great Depression, when he joined the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Writers Project and went into radio. He remained on the air and in the public eye in various iterations and via multiple media largely until his death, having written more than a dozen books of commentary and oral history, including the 1974 classic Working and the 1984 World War II tome The Good War, which won the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. The Tribune reports that a copy of his latest book, P.S. Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening (due out in November), was at Terkel’s bedside when he passed away.

More on Studs Terkel:
EW’s review of My American Century
EW’s review of The Spectator
Time Out Chicago magazine’s salute to Studs


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  • Nick Moroney

    Farewell Studs – you contributed mightily to America the beautiful, painting a beguiling picture of a big, brash and fascinating country, whether your respondents were famous or obscure, struggling or dilletante. You were one with the heartbeat, always right there – the rhythm of your work and the pulse of the people were as one.
    Peace, and to the coming good times,
    Nick (a long time admirer)

  • Zet

    I started reading Mr. Terkel in high school. He opened my eyes. He was insightful and his perpective continually added to mine. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore. He will be missed, but his work will live on.

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