Roger Ebert, perhaps the most famed and influential film critic of all time, has died at the age of 70, following a battle with cancer that started in 2002. Ebert and his work managed to transcend audiences, resonating with fans, academics, and fellow critics through both a vast knowledge of the cinematic landscape of not only America, but the world, as well as a deft, charismatic manner through which he speaks.
Over the course of his career and despite a global reach through his TV program and various other media, Ebert also managed to be quintessentially Chicago, staying true to the town. Ebert filmed several iterations of his review show there, became the film critic for the Sun-Times in 1966, and curated a film festival in his town later in his career.
In 2006, following thyroid surgery to treat cancer, Ebert lost the ability to speak, but that didn’t diminish his voice one iota, as he continued to write and champion film through countless different manners.
Not least of Ebert’s legacy is his surviving wife Chaz, to whom he attributes much of his late-life happiness in his memoir, Life Itself: A Memoir.