Studs Terkel: The People’s Reporter

Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! broadcast (11/03/08) in honor of the recently passed Studs Terkel gives a brief description of his professional life as an exemplary “radio broadcaster, writer, oral historian, raconteur, chronicler of our times”:

Since the ’60s, he was particularly well-known as a world-class interviewer, a writer and radio personality who drew celebrities and, far more often, average citizens into sharing their stories.

For forty-five years, from 1952 to ’97, Studs Terkel spent an hour each weekday on his nationally syndicated radio show on WFMT interviewing the famous and the not-so-famous. With his unique style of speaking about subjects such as race, war and employment, Studs Terkel spent decades interviewing Americans across the country, creating intimate portraits of everyday life and chronicling changing times through this century.

He wrote over a dozen books, with his long-awaited memoir Touch and Go coming out just last year. He won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the George Polk Career Award and the presidential National Humanities Medal.

Studs Terkel never stopped speaking out. Just a year ago, at the age of ninety-five, he wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times criticizing the Bush administration’s warrantless spy program.

Studs also was a much-appreciated advocate of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, having long served on our Advisory Board.