Farewell, Studs Terkel

On Friday, the world said goodbye to Studs Terkel.
Studs might not have been so well known on this side of the Atlantic but in the United States they are paying tribute to a “true American hero”.
Studs was a performer, a journalist, an oral historian and a “rabble-rouser”.
McCarthy tried to have him testify against leftist friends; he refused and never compromised on his principles. He was sacked from one job, quickly found another and never stopped working until his death at the age of 96.
Oh, yes, and he picked up a Pulitzer Prize along the way.
While much of his work centred on his beloved Chicago, he was very much for “ordinary” people everywhere, not just in the US.
He recorded the stories of hundreds of people over the years, and was a writer of great compassion and humanity.
He may be gone but his work remains – and will always be worth seeking out for the voice it gave to so many.
“Who built the pyramids?” he once asked. “It wasn’t the goddam pharaohs . . . it was the anonymous slaves.”

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