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31 October 2008

RIP, Studs Terkel. A wonderful writer and activist, who dedicated his life to justice and decency, he'll be sorely missed.[More:]I shared a podium with him once in Chicago at an anti-death penalty rally. Lately, he's been on that short list of people who I was hoping would make it to see an Obama victory (fingers still crossed for Obama's grandmother and Ted Kennedy).

Rest in peace, Studs. And thanks for a life passionately lived.
Thanks for getting me excited about journalism and teaching me that everybody is awesome, Studs.
posted by By the Grace of God 31 October | 16:47
He's someone I always wanted to meet. I remember reading 'American Dreams: Lost & Found' many years ago and being inspired by the story of Dora Rozenweig to strive for a better life.

Thank you, Studs.
posted by essexjan 31 October | 16:54
Ooooooh. That news packs a wallop.

'bye, Studs.

It was almost ten years ago. I was in Chicago for a wedding, and at some point during the big posh reception, I realized that the avuncular little man being chastely tottered around the dancefloor by a series of broad-shouldered niece-lookin' gals was, indeed, Studs Terkel.

Back then, I was a broad-shouldered niece-lookin' gal myself, and I had just worked up the nerve to ask him for a dance when my date told me he'd called for our car.

I have long regretted this missed chance, and I guess in my heart I believed that it would arise again.

I'll tell you this: I never saw him sit down all evening long. He spent the whole reception tottering around and looking in the faces of the many, many people who greeted him. He really saw them, in a way very few people see others.
posted by Elsa 31 October | 16:59
Drag. He was a major influence for me as a thinker and a writer.
posted by jonmc 31 October | 18:30
This is very sad, but of course a long time coming.

Studs Terkel was Chicago. With Royko gone and now him, it's not the same.
posted by middleclasstool 31 October | 18:51
'Working' is a towering achievement of journalism and oral history, and one of my favorite books. He had an amazing life.
posted by box 31 October | 19:03
I agree, box. "Working" was one of the books that made me think about the intersection of the political and the personal.

I would have LOVED to have had a beer with him. Preferably in a jazz club.

Thanks, Studs. You made America (at least the deep-dish, Bears-fan part) a saner, more compassionate, and more interesting place.
posted by BitterOldPunk 31 October | 19:47
I really, really wish he had made it to see Obama sworn in. (if'n it goes down like that.)
posted by Lipstick Thespian 31 October | 23:52
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