What a time for the world to lose Studs Terkel. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author, activist and radio and television star died Friday in his adopted hometown of Chicago. Terkel was 96.


AP via Google News:

“A lot of people feel, ‘What can I do, (it’s) hopeless,’ ” Terkel told The Associated Press in 2003. “Well, through all these years there have been the people I’m talking about, whom we call activists … who give us hope and through them we have hope.”

The tougher the subject, the harder Terkel took it on. He put out an oral history collection on race relations in 1992 called “Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About The American Obsession,” and, in 1995, “Coming of Age,” recollections of men and women 70 and older.

He cared about what divided us, and what united us: death — in his 2001 “Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith,” and hope, in his 2003 “Hope Dies Last.”

Terkel won a 1985 Pulitzer Prize for “The Good War,” remembrances of World War II; contrasted rich and poor along the same Chicago street in “Division Street: America,” 1966; limned the Depression in “Hard Times,” 1970; and chronicled how people feel about their jobs in “Working,” 1974.

[…] Andre Schiffrin — Terkel’s longtime editor, publisher and close friend who gave Terkel the idea for many of his books — said Terkel “had been in bad shape in recent weeks and he really felt that his life had come to an end. But he was as engaged as ever. He was a big fan of (Democratic presidential candidate Barack) Obama and he said one of the things that kept him going was that he wanted to see the results of the election.”

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