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Roger Ebert was an American film critic best known as one half of the popular Siskel and Ebert film critic television show.
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Roger Ebert was an American film critic born on June 18, 1942, in Urbana, Illinois. His career began in 1966, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times' Sunday magazine. In 1975, he became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. That same year Ebert teamed up with fellow movie critic Gene Siskel on a television show where they debated the quality of the latest films. The show proved a hit,
"No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough."
"If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it didn't."
"Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you."
and Siskel and Ebert became household names. They worked together until 1999 when Siskel passed away. Ebert died on April 4, 2013, at age 70, in Chicago, Illinois.
Writer and film critic Roger Joseph Ebert was born on June 18, 1942, in Urbana, Illinois. Ebert, along with his longtime television partner Gene Siskel, was perhaps the most noted movie critic in film history. With their popular syndicated show, Siskel and Ebert became almost as celebrated and famous as the movies and movie stars they covered.
Ebert, the only child of Annabel and Walter Ebert, came from a modest background. His father was an electrician who earned enough to keep his family out of hard times, but was determined to see that his son carve out a bigger future for himself. As a child, Roger Ebert loved to write, and thanks to a close relationship with his aunt Martha, he developed an appreciation for movies. He also adored newspapers and books and, at an early age, was writing and publishing his own local paper, the Washington Street Times, which he named after the street he lived on.
In high school, Ebert edited the school's paper and developed his own science-fiction fanzine. To earn extra money, he also wrote for The News-Gazette in Champaign, Illinois, where his style and talent were on full display. He captured first place in the Illinois Associated Press sports writing contest his senior year, beating out a whole crop of much more seasoned reporters.
Shortly after he began attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in 1960, Ebert's father died of lung cancer. Ebert quickly rose in the ranks at the school's paper, The Daily Illini, earning the role of editor in chief by his senior year, in 1964. After receiving his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Ebert pursued a Ph.D. in English at the University of Chicago, but soon abandoned the dream to write full-time.
Ebert's decision paid off in 1966, when he was hired to write for the Chicago Sun-Times' Sunday magazine. Six months later, after the paper's society reporter died, the green reporter was tapped to become the paper's new film critic. From the get-go, Ebert demonstrated an energized gusto for writing about film that few could match. On his very first day at his new job, he gave readers a look at the French film Galia, using the film to advance his overall opinion about the entire genre of French "New Wave" movies. "We have been treated to a parade of young French girls running gaily toward the camera in slow motion," he wrote, "their hair waving in the wind in just such a way that we know immediately they are liberated, carefree, jolly and doomed." It's doubtful anyone could have predicted the prestige and longevity Ebert would bring to the position.
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