Friday, October 31, 2008

Studs Terkel, 1912-2008. R.I.P.

Studs Terkel, one of America's most interesting writers has died at the age of 96.

Terkel was as big an institution in Chicago as the Cubs, Michael Jordan and Mike Ditka.

Terkel was an unabashed left-winger and supported Obama. Yet his writing was compelling because he was a good listener.

His specialty was oral history. Arguably, Terkel's best known work was his 1974 book Working. Terkel recounted the stories of Americans in how they spent their day and how they felt about the work that filled their day. Terkel talked to everyone from police officers to prostitutes; professors to piano tuners He even interviewed actor Rip Torn and former major league pitcher Steve Hamilton. It didn't matter to whom Terkel talked. He made their stories come to life.

Terkel lived a long productive life to its very end.

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