Roger Ebert

June 18, 1942 - April 4, 2013

Roger Ebert has died, age 70, from cancer

The only film critic to (yet) win a Pulitzer Prize, Ebert was a movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years, was famous for his TV show with fellow critic Gene Siskel ("Sneak Previews"), and bridged the trend from print film criticism to his own digital mini-kingdom within the online Chicago Sun Times newspaper domain.

The author of many books (mostly collections of his film criticism) Ebert could help a film make it by the weight of his advocacy ("thumbs up"), and could also severely hurt a film's box office by his "thumbs down."

After Siskel died, Ebert continued on with "Ebert & Roeper" which continued with the same rating system that had become a legal trademark.

Ebert was also quite wealthy, having benefited from his early backing of Google, and from being well-connected within the Chicago media world.

From the Chicago Sun-Times online obit:

"Roger Joseph Ebert was born in Urbana on June 18, 1942, the son of Walter and Annabel Ebert. His father was an electrician at the University of Illinois, his mother, a bookkeeper. It was a liberal household" Ebert remembers his parents praying for the success of Harry Truman in the election of 1948. As a child, he published a mimeographed neighborhood newspaper, and a stamp collectors' newspaper in elementary school.

In high school, he was, as he later wrote, "demented in [his] zeal for school activities," joining the swim team, acting in plays, founding the Science Fiction Club, co-hosting Urbana High School's Saturday morning radio program, co-editing the newspaper, being elected senior class president.

He began his professional writing career at 15, as a sportswriter covering the high school beat for the News-Gazette in Champaign-Urbana.

Ebert went on to the University of Illinois, where he published a weekly journal of politics and opinion as a freshman and served as editor of the Daily Illini his senior year. He graduated in 1964, and studied in South Africa on a Rotary Scholarship.

While still in Urbana, he began free-lancing for the Sun-Times and the Chicago Daily News."

Robert Ebert Life Itself

Roger Ebert's Top Films of the Year


1967: Bonnie and Clyde
1968: The Battle of Algiers
1969: Z


1970: Five Easy Pieces
1971: The Last Picture Show
1972: The Godfather
1973: Cries and Whispers
1974: Scenes from a Marriage
1975: Nashville
1976: Small Change
1977: 3 Women
1978: An Unmarried Woman
1979: Apocalypse Now


1980: The Black Stallion
1981: My Dinner with Andre
1982: Sophie's Choice
1983: The Right Stuff
1984: Amadeus
1985: The Color Purple
1986: Platoon
1987: House of Games
1988: Mississippi Burning
1989: Do the Right Thing


1990: Goodfellas
1991: JFK
1992: Malcolm X
1993: Schindler's List
1994: Hoop Dreams
1995: Leaving Las Vegas
1996: Fargo
1997: Eve's Bayou
1998: Dark City
1999: Being John Malkovich


2000: Almost Famous
2001: Monster's Ball
2002: Minority Report
2003: Monster
2004: Million Dollar Baby
2005: Crash
2006: Pan's Labyrinth
2007: Juno
2008: Synecdoche, New York
2009: The Hurt Locker
2010: The Social Network
2011: A Separation
2012: Argo

Original page April 2013

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