Studs Terkel was a prize-winning author and radio-broadcast personality who was born Louis Terkel in New York on May 16, 1912. In 1922 his family moved to Chicago where he would embark on a career that would see him become one of the most influential media figures in the city. After attending the University of Chicago and receiving a law degree, he worked on a sports show on WBBM-AM, before landing his own show on WENR-AM in 1944. A year later he had his own television show called Stud’s Place, which allowed him to do what he did best—interview people.
In 1952 Terkel began working for WFMT-FM as host of The Studs Terkel Almanac, and later became the host of The Studs Terkel Show which aired on WFMT-FM in Chicago from 1958 to 1998. The show featured his unique interviewing style, which he used to relate to the common man as well as politicians and celebrities. In addition to broadcasting, he was a social activist, historian, and actor. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for The Good War. Terkel was also beloved for the mentoring he provided to a new generation of journalists and writers.
Studs Terkel died on October 31, 2008.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2009.