Monday, November 10, 2008

Studs Terkel

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If there is anyone to whom credit should be given to for initiating the idea of honoring the lives and memories of everyday people, aka "the History of US" and blogs like Knickerbocker Village, its Studs Terkel.
from the Chicago Tribune: Studs Terkel, Chicago Radio Personality And Writer, Dies At 96, November 1st 2008, By Sarah Vasques
The Chicago Tribune reported that Studs Terkel, the writer, radio-TV personality and social activist who made Chicago his hometown, was dead at age 96.
Studs Terkel died after his health declined after a fall several weeks ago at home.
Studs Terkel was born Louis Terkel in New York on May 16, 1912. His father, Samuel, was a tailor and his mother, Anna (Finkel) was a seamstress. He had three brothers. The family moved to Chicago in 1922 and opened a rooming house at Ashland and Flournoy on the near West side.
Studs Terkel attended University of Chicago and received a law degree in 1934. He chose not to pursue a career in law. After a brief stint with the civil service in Washington D.C., he returned to Chicago and worked with the WPA Writers Project in the radio division
He is famous for his radio program titled “The Studs Terkel Program” that aired on 98.7 WFMT Chicago between 1952 and 1997. The show was initially called "Studs Terkel Almanac".
Even if the show was intended primarily to play music and the interviewing came along by accident. The one-hour program appeared each weekday during all of that time. He interviewed guests as diverse as Bob Dylan, Leonard Bernstein and Alexander Frey.
His first book, Giants of Jazz, was published in 1956. Ten years later his first book of oral history interviews, Division Street : America, came out. It was followed by a succession of oral history books on the 1930s Depression, World War Two, race relations, working, the American dream, and aging.
"Studs Terkel was part of a great Chicago literary tradition that stretched from Theodore Dreiser to Richard Wright to Nelson Algren to Mike Royko," Mayor Richard M Daley was quoted as saying in a statement.
Daley noted that Terkel's radio show "was an important part of Chicago's cultural landscape for more than 40 years."
But as an outspoken liberal during the McCarthy era, Terkel was blacklisted after signing "many petitions that were for unfashionable causes and never retracted," Terkel once said.
In January 1998, Studs Terkel became the Chicago Historical Society’s first Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence.
Studs Terkel’s work has been highly praised and recognized in the world of arts and letters. He is the recipient of numerous book awards including the Pulitzer Prize for The Good War (1985), the Irita

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