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article imagePulitzer Prize Winning Author Studs Terkel Dead at 96

By Susan Keeping     Nov 1, 2008 in Entertainment
Author and broadcaster Studs Terkel has died at the age of 96. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for his book The Good War, which featured people's memories of World War II.
Studs Terkel was born Louis Terkel in New York City on May 16, 1912. His family moved to Chicago when he was ten-years-old and he never left. During the Great Depression of the 1930s his family ran a boarding house which gave Terkel the opportunity to listen to the stories of the down and outers who stayed there. Terkel went on to be one of the greatest chroniclers of the stories of ordinary Americans and their stuggles.
Terkel had a law degree from the University of Chicago but he never used it. Once he graduated he began working for the Federal Writer's Projects, one of Franklin D. Roosevelt;s programs that provided work for writers.
Terkel was blacklisted briefly during the McCarthy Era for being sympathetic to the communist cause in the 40s. He had joined the party but quickly decided it wasn't for him.
Terkel hosted a radio program from 1958 to 1967 where he interviewed visitors to Chicago who interested him.
One of his first oral history books was Division Street: America, published in 1967. It featured interviews with over 70 residents of Chicago. His next two books were Hard Times in 1970, about the Great Depression, and Working from 1974 which was about the working lives of American's. In 1985 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Good War, which featured interviews with people who discussed their memories of World War II.
Sterkel had no qualms about declaring his leftist tendencies. He always wore one item of red to show his support for labor. He never failed to speak out against things that he felt hurt working Americans.
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