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In Memoriam: Studs Terkel

Studs Terkel, one of several Chicago wonders, passes away at a glorious 96 years old. His most recent work, published earlier this year, anthologizes previously unpublished writings, broadcasts, and interviews.

Book Digest [Photo by Robert Birnbaum] Having grown up in Chicago I had the great good fortune to be introduced to Studs Terkel’s work early on—as well as the other Chicago wonders, all hidden in plain sight from the rest of America—Mike Royko, Ernie Banks, Curtis Mayfield, Sid McCoy, Leon Despres, Chester Burnett (aka Howling Wolf), Nelson Algren, hotdogs served on steamed sesame buns with the works, thick-crust pizza, and real brown mustard slathered on hotdogs served at lakeshore kiosks.

Anyway, by now millions of words have been written in tribute to Chicagoan Louis “Studs” Terkel (Division Street America), who passed away last weekend at the glorious age of 96.

Terkel was still signing three book contracts in his ninth decade—one of which was his second memoir, Touch and Go, published last year and, most recently, P.S.: Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening, which anthologizes a selection of Studs’s unpublished writings, broadcasts, and interviews.

Studs was a true American original whose great talent was to listen, really listen to the vast array of people he interviewed.

Quite a trick for a deaf guy.

RIP Studs Terkel.
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