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Studs Terkel Dies at Age 96

Bloomberg 31 October 2008 No Comment

Studs Terkel, the Pulitzer Prize- winning author and enduring radio-show host whose oral histories chronicled the travails and triumphs of America’s working class, has died. He was 96.

Terkel died today at his home in Chicago, his son, Dan Terkel, said in an interview. “He just went very quickly and was in no pain at all,” Dan Terkel said. “He lived a very long, full, satisfying though sometimes impetuous life.”

Born in New York, Terkel became synonymous with Chicago, the city where he moved at age 10 and rarely left. His parents ran a boarding house and a men’s hotel during the Great Depression, giving the young Terkel a steady diet of the struggles of ordinary people whose stories became his life’s work.

“People’s everyday experience can be as profound and as compelling as any celebrity,” said Russell Lewis, chief historian of the Chicago Historical Society, which houses many of Terkel’s collected works. “Everyday experience is powerful, and Studs understood this.”

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